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JUUKINAL 

OF THE 

BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 



\PRIL 2004 



VOL 101 (1) 







JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 

Hornbill House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai 400 023. 



Executive Editor 

Asad R. Rahmani, Ph D 
Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai 

Copy and Production Editor 

Gayatri W Ugra, Ph D 
Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai 



Editorial Board 



M R Almeida, D Litt. 

Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai 

Ajith Kumar, Ph. D. 

National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, 
Hebbal, Bangalore 

M.K Chandrashekaran, Ph. D., D Sc. 
Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre 
for Advanced Scientific Research, 

Bangalore 

Anwaruddm Choudhury, Ph D 
The Rhino Foundation for Nature, Guwahati 

Indraneil Das, D Phil. 

Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation 
Universiti Malaysia, Sarawak, Malaysia 

Raghvendra Gadagkar, Ph D 
Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, 

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 

Y.V. Jhala, Ph D. 

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun 
K Ullas Karanth, Ph D 

Wildlife Conservation Society - India Program, 
Bangalore, Karnataka 



T.C. Narendran, Ph. D., D. Sc. 
Professor, Department of Zoology, 
University of Calicut, Kerala 

Aasheesh Pittie, B Com. 

Bird Watchers Society of Andhra Pradesh, 
Hyderabad 

G S Rawat, Ph D 
Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun 

K. Rema Devi, Ph D 
Zoological Survey of India, Chennai 

J.S Singh, Ph D 

Professor, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 

S Subramanya, Ph D 
University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, 
Hebbal, Bangalore 

R. Sukumar, Ph. D 

Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, 
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 

Romulus Whitaker, B Sc. 

Madras Reptile Park and Crocodile Bank Trust, 
Tamil Nadu 



Consultant Editors 

Raghunandan Chundawat, Ph D 
Wildlife Conservation Society, Bangalore 

Nigel Collar, Ph D 
BirdLife International, UK 

Rhys Green, Ph D. 

Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK 

Qamar Qureshi, M. Sc. 

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun 

T.J. Roberts, Ph D. 

World Wildlife Fund - Pakistan 



Editorial Assistant: Vibhuti Dedhia, M Sc. 
Layout and Typesetting V. Gopi Naidu 



© Bombay Natural History Society 2004 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, 
recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Enquiries 
concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be addressed to the Honorary Secretary, BNHS at the address given above. 



VOLUME 101 (1): APRIL 2004 
CONTENTS 

EDITORIAL 

BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA 

By C. Srinivasulu 

THE FIRST RECORDINGS OF CALLS OF THE JERDON’S COURSER RHINOPTILUS BITORQUATUS (BLYTH), 
FAMILY GLAREOLIDAE 

By Panchapakesan Jeganathan and Simon R. Wotton 

THE AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS OF SOUTHERN INDIA 

By Wiliam A. Noble 

STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF THE WILD BUFFALO BUBALUS BUBALIS IN PENINSULAR INDIA 
By M.K. Ranjitsinh, S.C. Verma, S.A. Akhtar, Vinod Patil, K. Sivakumar and 

S. Bhanubhakude 

UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT {ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) 

By PA. Rees 

A MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS OF AREAS ACROSS THE INDIAN 
SUBCONTINENT: SPECIES PROPORTION OF FAMILY PAPILIONIDAE AS AN INDICATOR 
By Arun P. Singh and Rajiv Pandey 

NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED STORK (EPHIPPIORHYNCHUS ASIATICUS) AND 
WHITE-NECKED STORK (C ICON 1 A EPISCOPUS ) IN KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK, BHARATPUR, INDIA 
By Farah Ishtiaq, Asad R. Rahmani, Salim Javed and Malcolm C. Coulter 

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF SOME SOUTH INDIAN BUTTERFLY SPECIES 
J.B. Atluri, C. Subba Reddi and S.P. Venkata Ramana 

LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SANJAY GANDHI NATIONAL PARK, 
BORIVLI, MUMBAI (LEPIDOPTERA: SATURNIIDAE ANDSPHINGIDAE) 

By V. Shubhalaxmi and Naresh Chaturvedi 




1 

3 

26 

29 

64 

71 

79 

90 

96 

106 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 

A NEW SPECIES OF WOLF SPIDER (ARANEAE: LYCOSIDAE) FROM CROP FIELDS OF THE SUNDARBAN 
ESTUARY, WEST BENGAL, INDIA 

By S.C. Majumder 121 

NEW ORB-WEAVING SPIDERS OF THE GENUS CYRTOPHORA SIMON (ARANEAE: ARANEIDAE) FROM 
BANGLADESH 

By V. Biswas and D. Raychaudhuri 124 

TWO NEW SPECIES OF PUNTIUS HAMILTON-BUCHANAN (CYPRINIFORMES: CYPRINIDAE) FROM MANIPUR, 

INDIA, WITH AN ACCOUNT OF PUNTIUS SPECIES FROM THE STATE 

By W. Vishwanath and Juliana Laisram 130 

A NEW NEMACHEILINE FISH OF THE GENUS SCHISTURA MCCLELLAND (CYPRINIFORMES: BALITORIDAE) 

FROM MANIPUR, INDIA 

By W. Vishwanath and K. Shanta 138 

CEROPEGIA ANANTII (ASCLEPIADACEAE), A NEW SPECIES FROM WESTERN GHATS, INDIA 

By S.R. Yadav, M.M. Sardesai and S.P. Gaikwad 141 



REVIEWS 

1 FLORA OF THE DISTRICT GARH WAL, NORTHWEST HIMALAYA (WITH ETHNOBOTANICAL NOTES) 



Reviewed by M.R. Almeida 144 

2. THE FLORA OF THE PALNI HILLS 

Reviewed by M.R. Almeida 145 

3. MEDICINAL PLANTS IN ANDHRA PRADESH (INDIA) 

Reviewed by M.R. Almeida 147 

4. MEDICINAL PLANTS IN INDIA 
Reviewed by M.R. Almeida 



148 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



MAMMALS 

1. Sighting of Caracal in the Chambal Ravines of Bhind 



District, Madhya Pradesh 

By Faiyaz A, Khudsar 149 

2. Occurrence of Indian Wolf Cam's lupus pallipes in 
the Pench Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh 

By G. Areendran and M.K. Pasha 149 

3. Death of a Blue Bull Boselaphus tragocamelus due 
to snakebite 

By Anil Kumar Chhangani 150 

4 Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak in Mundanthurai, 

Tamil Nadu 

By J. Mangalaraj Johnson 151 

5. Mortality of wild animals in road accidents in 
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India 
By Anil Kumar Chhangani 151 



BIRDS 



6. Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Pallas and 
Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata Linn. — Two rare 
records from Kerala 

By C. Sashi Kumar 154 

7. Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus pre-roosting on 
trees in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, 
Rajasthan 

By Ashok Verma 155 

8. Blue-winged Parakeet Psittacula columboides, 

Family Psittacidae, feeding on Loranthus leaves 

By Sharad Apte 155 

9. Sighting of the Oriental Bay-Owl Phodilus badius 
saturatus in Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary. Western 
Arunachal Pradesh 

By Aparajita Datta 156 

10. Albinism in White-breasted Kingfisher Halcyon 
smyrnensis (Linne) from India 

By C. Srinivasulu 157 

1 1. Duetting calls of the Heart-spotted Woodpeckers 
Hemicircus canente (Lesson) 

By V. Santharam 157 

1 2. Woodpecker holes used for nesting by secondary 
cavity-nesters in the Western Ghats, India 

By V. Santharam 158 

13. Sighting of Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis 
and Franklin’s Prinia Prinia hodgsonii in Sirkali, 
Nagapattinam District, Tamil Nadu 

By G. Agoramoorthy and D. Vernier 159 

14. Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer feedingBlack 
Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus chicks 

By Joanna Van Gruisen 159 

15. Rediscovery of the Yellow-throated Bulbul 
Pycnonotus xantholaemus in the Anaimalai Hills, 

Western Ghats, South India 

By Wolfgang Beisenherz 160 

16. Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica at 
Mt. Abu, Rajasthan 

By Harkirat Singh Sangha and DhirendraDevarshi . 161 

17. New sight records of Pied Tit Parus nuchalis in 
Rajasthan 

By Satish Kumar Sharma 162 

1 8. Additions to ' The Birds of Goa’ (Lainer 1 999) 

By Heinz Lainer 163 



REPTILES 



19. Further Chelonian records from Mizoram in 
northeastern India 

By Anwaruddin Choudhury 165 

20. First record of the Copperhead Snake Elaphe radiata 
from Madhya Pradesh 

By H.S. Negi 166 



FISHES 

21 New record of an endemic species, Puntius 
ophicepbalus (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from 
Tamil Nadu part of Western Ghats 
By M. Arunachalam, J. A. Johnson, C. Vijayakumar, 

P. Sivakumar, A. Manimekalan, R. Soranam and 

A. Sankaranarayanan 166 

22. Sexual dimorphism of the Pig Face Bream Lethrinus 

rubrioperculatus (Sato) from southwest coast of 
India 

By S. Rantachandran, K.P. Philip, Y. Tharumar 

and M. Narayanan 168 

INSECTS 



23 . Record of Strumigenys emmae (Emery) (Formicidae: 
Myrmicinae) from Bangalore, Karnataka and a key 
to Indian species 

By Thresiamma Varghese 170 

24. On the occurrence of Marumba cristata (Butler 
1875), Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. in Shimla, Himachal 
Pradesh 

By Peter Smetacek 171 

25. Pleurona falcata Walker, an addition to the Noctuid 
fauna of the Indian mainland 

By Peter Smetacek 172 

26. Corymica Walker, Lepidoptera: Geometridae, in the 
Kumaon Himalaya, with the description of a new 
form of C deducata caustolomaria Moore 

By Peter Smetacek 173 

27. Additional records of butterflies from Maharashtra 

By Basil W. Wirth 176 

28. Studies on the Odonata (Insecta) from a backwater 
swamp of Northern Kerala 

By Muhamed Jafer Palot 

and V.P. Soniya 177 



OTHER INVERTEBRATES 

29. The Pulmonate Snail Opeas gracile (Hutton), 
Stylommatophora: Subulinidae: Opeatinae — 

A new record from Jammu province, Jammu and 
Kashmir State 

By SurendraNath and Sunita 180 

30. Extention of distribution of the Thomisid Spider 
Platythomisus sudeepi Biswas, Thomisidae: 

Araneae, from north Kanara, Karnataka 

By D.B Bastawade, Krushnamegh Kunte and 

Ashok Captain 181 

31. Redescription of Tetragnatha viridorufa Gravely 
from Kerala, India, Araneae: Tetragnathidae 

By K. Sunil Jose, Samson Davis, A.V. Sudhikumar 

and PA. Sebastian 182 



ii 



32. On two interesting marine crabs (Decapoda: 
Brachyura) from Mandvi, Kutch 

By B.F. Chhapgar, Bhawanisingh G. Desai and 

Satish J. Patel 184 

33 . Little known biodiversity of subterranean freshwater 
habitats in India, with special reference to crustacean 
fauna 

By Y. Ranga Reddy 186 



BOTANY 

34. Hypericum gaitii Haines (Hypericaceae), a new 
record for southern peninsular India 

By K. Sri Rama Murthy. S. Sandhya Rani and 

T. Pullaiah 189 

35. Amendment to an endemic species Dalbergia 
tinnevelliensis Thoth., Family Fabaceae on its 
rediscovery from Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger 
Reserve, India 

By M.B. Viswanathan, S. Ramakrishnan, 

B. Jeyasuresh, N. Andal and M. Venkatesan 191 



36. Two distributional records of Caesalpiniaceae for 
Tamil Nadu 

By C. Murugan and V.S. Manickam 194 

37. Chionanthus ramiflorus Roxb. var. peninsularis 
Ravikumar& Lakshmanan, an extended distribution 
to Andaman & Nicobar Islands 

By R. Sumathi, J. Jayanthi, PV. Sreekumar and 



1) Narasimhan 195 

38. Thottea paucifida Ding Hou, Family Aristolochiaceae, 
a new record for India 

By R. Sumathi, Vinod Maina and G.S. Lakra 195 

39. Juncus spumosus Noltie (Juncaceae), a new record 
for India 

By M. Bhaumik and M.K. Pathak 196 

40. Five new records of plants from Tamil Nadu 

By V.S. Manickam, V. Sundaresan, G.J. Jothi and 
C. Murugan 198 



Cover Photograph: Black-necked Stork 
Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus by Asad R. Rahmani 



ERRATA 

Vo I 100, No. 2 & 3 

Page 530, Column 2, Line 6. for December 1 3, 1 993 read December 13,1 933 



iii 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 



We are grateful to the Ministry of Science and Technology, 
Govt of India, 

FOR ENHANCED FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE PUBLICATION OF THE JOURNAL. 



Editorial 



Reaching 1 00 years, whether in human life or an institute’s life, is a reason for celebration. 
The Bombay Natural History Society celebrated 1 00 years of existence in 1 983 with some memorable 
functions and presentations. Another milestone in the history of BNHS was reached in 2003 when the 
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society completed 100 volumes. There are not many 
journals in the world, certainly not many in India, which have survived 100 years. 

The Journal was started in 1 886 with E.H. Aitken and R. A. Sterndale as the first editors. From 
Vol. 3, H.M. Phipson started editing the Journal. From the records available to us, 23 people have 
served as editors of the Journal , sometimes alone but generally in various combinations. Stalwarts 
like W.S. Millard, N.B. Kinnear, S.H. Prater, Salim Ali, P.M. Sanderson, H. Santapau, H. Abdulali and 
J.C. Daniel have been editors of this prestigious Journal. Interestingly, among all the editors, 
Mr. Daniel had the longest innings, 40 years! His name first appeared in Vol. 62, 1965. Earlier, there 
used to be four issues per volume, and four issues of a particular volume were not necessarily published 
in a calendar year. Therefore, although the Journal was started in 1 886, it completed 1 00 volumes in 
2003. From Vol. 55, 1958, three issues per calendar year were published. We intend to continue this 
practice. 

We have a distinguished list of names on our editorial board, each expert in his or her own field, 
some with more than 20 years of field research, and writing experiences. As we publish articles on all 
aspects of natural history, including new descriptions, we need a large editorial board that can peer- 
review the papers. From this volume, we have also added a team of consultant editors for further 
editorial inputs. Besides the editorial team and consultant editors, we also have a list of experts whom 
we will consult from time to time for peer-reviewing manuscripts. We intend to publish their names in 
the third issue of each volume. Our main purpose at the end of the day is to publish good scientific 
papers, and quickly. 

One of the complaints, and a genuine one for that matter, is that the Journal takes very long to 
publish an accepted paper. 1 think it is a sort of compliment to us. We receive many good papers and 
it is difficult to reject them, and secondly, due to the prestige of the Journal , many contributors are 
willing to wait for 2-3 years to see their papers in JBNHS rather than elsewhere. However, at the 
same time, the long publication time discourages many talented young scientists who do not send 
papers to us. In order to reduce this time lag, we have requested our editorial board to be very 
selective in accepting a paper. We are also planning to increase the size of the next couple of issues to 
clear up our pending papers, and from next year, our aim is to see that an accepted paper is published 
within 12 months after its acceptance. 

We have also decided to place abstracts of major papers on our website: www.bnhs.org. We are 
also planning on-line publishing, but this will be done only when we are sure that we will not lose 
Journal subscribers. 

Presently, members have to pay only Rs. 150/- for the subscription of the Journal. Looking at 
the quality of the Journal, and increase in the publication cost and postal rates, I am sure subscribers 
would be happy to pay a higher subscription. We will inform you when the Society takes the decision 
to raise the subscription to the Journal. 

The abbreviation of a journal becomes its brand name, to be quoted in scientific papers. JBNHS 
is a well-known acronym all over the world. Although there is the Bahrain Natural History Society, 
also called BNHS, I do not know whether they also publish a journal called ‘ JBNHS’. I hope not. I am 
still unable to understand how Natural in J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. came to be written in lower case. 
Nonetheless, from Vol. 101, it will be written in upper and lowercases, and the abbreviation will be 
J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 



ASAD R. RAHMANI 






























, 


















































Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



3-25 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA 1 

C. Srinivasulu 2 
'Accepted July, 2001 ; 

2 Wildlife Biology Section. Department of Zoology, Osmania University, Hyderabad 500 007, Andhra Pradesh, India. 
Emai 1 : hyd2_masawa@sancharnet. i n 

Being a part of a large and contiguous forest tract in the Deccan Plateau, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is an 
important Protected Area with high avian diversity. Altogether, 294 species belonging to 53 families were 
recorded during a two-year period between 1997 and 1999. Historical comparisons have also been drawn, 
and some species that were not recorded during this survey are discussed. The status of the Black-shouldered 
Woodpecker, Spotted Creeper and Little Spiderhunter is also discussed. It is proposed that further surveys 
in adjacent areas will yield interesting results and will be of considerable importance in recognizing this 
region as an Important Bird Area in Andhra Pradesh. 



Adilabad district, avifauna, Andhra Pradesh 



Key words: Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, 

INTRODUCTION 

Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest and 
faunistically most diverse Protected Areas in Andhra 
Pradesh. The first documentation of avian diversity from 
the Utnoor Forest was done in 1930-31 by Salim Ali 
during the Hyderabad State Ornithological Survey (Ali 
and Whistler 1933a, b, c; 1934a, b). In early 1978, a 
party of the Zoological Survey of India collected birds 
from four different sites in Adilabad district, of which 
three, namely Birsaipet, Itikyal, and Kadam are within 
the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary (Majumdar 1984). 
Although the Forest Department staff and some 
members of the Birdwatchers’ Society of Andhra 
Pradesh have documented birds from this region, the 
lack of a comprehensive checklist is quite evident. 
Keeping this in view, I maintained a record of bird 
sightings during field trips carried out while studying wild 
cervids for my doctoral research. This paper presents 
the first detailed systematic account of the avian diversity 
of Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary. 

STUDY AREA 

Established in 1965, Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary 
(19° 05'- 19° 20' N and 78° 32'-79° 12' E) covers an area 
of 893 sq. km, making it one of the largest and oldest 
gazetted wildlife sanctuaries in Andhra Pradesh. Located 
in Adilabad district, it is situated 45 km from Mancherial, 
70 km from Nirmal and 260 km from Hyderabad. The 
general topography of the area is undulating, with hills on 
the northern boundary and a gentle slope towards the 
Godavari river flowing 6- 1 2 km from the southern boundary 
of the Sanctuary (Fig. 1 ). 

The major peaks are Mamidepalligutta (664 m), 
Mysemgutta (553 m) and Thattlakonda (443 m). Very 



few waterbodies dot the area, the major ones being 
restricted to the northern region of the Sanctuary 
between Birsaipet and Utnoor. On the southern side, 
the Kadam Reservoir and the associated canal network 
forms the lifeline of the Sanctuary. There are a number 
of large and small shallow waterbodies along the southern 
boundary, though not strictly within the Sanctuary limits. 
A few seasonal streams also crisscross the Sanctuary. 

The forest is of Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous 
type with Tectona grandis, Terminalia tomentosa , 
Terminalia arjuna, Anogeissus latifolia, Boswellia 
serrata, Cleisanthus collinus , Lannea Coromandel ica , 
Diospyros melanoxylon and Bombay, ceiba , being 
predominant (Champion and Seth 1 968). Patches of natural 
clumps of bamboo Dendrocalamus strictus are also found 
in the Sanctuary. Three reserve forests, namely Itikyal, 
Kadam and Kawal falling underNirmal and Janaram Forest 
Divisions comprise the Sanctuary. The major vegetation 
compositions in these reserve forests are teak mixed 
miscellaneous forest and teak mixed bamboo forest. Teak 
mixed bamboo forest is more dominant (55%) than the 
teak mixed miscellaneous forest (40%) while the remaining 
areas are teak plantations, scrub areas or village enclosures. 
A road connecting Mancherial with Nirmal and Adilabad 
divides the Sanctuary into three zones. Cultivated areas 
and human habitation are found in the villages named in 
the Methodology section, in and around the Sanctuary. 

METHODOLOGY 

Regular monthly surveys following the imaginary 
grid method and line transect method by Gaston ( 1 973) 
were carried out from March 1 997 to March 1 999, and 
bird records were maintained for the following selected 
areas of the Sanctuary: Utnoor, Birsaipet, Rampur, 
Udhumpur, Laxmipur, Dosthnagar, Kadam, Itikyal, 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 




Kalleda, Narlapur, Indhanpally, Janaram, Kawal, 
Alinagar, Dongapally, Tapalapur and Tadlapet. Forested 
tracts within a radius of 2 to 8 km from these areas 
were selected for observations. Identification was based 
on Ali and Ripley (1983) and Ali (1996). Based on the 
number of sightings and occurrence, the status of a given 
species was assigned as common (encountered daily in 
relatively large numbers), uncommon (encountered daily 
but in small numbers) and rare (encountered less than 
15 times a year). 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 

A total of 294 species belonging to 185 genera, 
53 families and 17 orders were recorded (Table 1). Of 
these 49% (144 species) are common, 33% (98 species) 
are uncommon and 1 8% (52 species) are rare. Of these 
45% ( 1 33 species) are resident breeders, 
1 7% (49 species) are residents that possibly breed within 
the Sanctuary, 17% (49 species) are winter migrants, 
8% (23 species) are seasonal or local migrants, 
12% (36 species) are rare, while the rest are stragglers 
(4 species contributing 1%). Significant sight records 
were Jerdon’s Baza ( Aviceda jerdoni), Great Black 
Woodpecker ( Dryocopus javensis). Spotted Creeper 
( Salpornis spilonotus) and Little Spiderhunter 
( Arachnothera longirostra). 

Among the common species, 75% (108 species) 
are resident breeders, 3% (5 species) probably breed 
within the Sanctuary, 3% (4 species) are resident with 



no breeding records, 12% (17 species) are winter 
migrants, 6% (9 species) are probably residents or local 
migrants, and 0.69% (1 species) of undetermined 
resident status. Of the uncommon species, 
28% (27 species) are resident breeders, 
21% (21 species) are those that probably breed, 
9% (9 species) are resident with no breeding records, 
26% (26 species) are winter migrants, and 
1 5% ( 1 5 species) are either seasonal or local migrants. 
Among the rare species, 56% (29 species) are of 
undetermined rare status, 17% (9 species) winter 
migrants, 6% (3 species) either seasonal or local 
migrants, 10% (5 species) stragglers, 1.0% (5 species) 
probable resident breeders, and one species (2%) that 
is, Black-shouldered Woodpecker ( Chrysocolaptes 
festivus ) is a rare resident breeder. 

In the annotated checklist that follows, systematic 
listing is based on the Synopsis (Ripley 1982) and the 
common and scientific names follow Manakadan and 
Pittie (2001). 

1 . Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis (Pallas) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects shallow 
waterbodies near human settlements and near Kadam 
Reservoir. Ali and Whistler ( 1 934b) recorded this species 
from Utnoor. 

2. Great Cormorant 
Phalacrocorax carbo (Linne) 

Rare. Two records near Kadam Reservoir. 



4 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Table 1: Avian diversity of Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, 
Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh 



Order 


Family 


No of 
Genera 


No. of 
Species 


Podicipediformes 


Podicipedidae 


1 


1 


Pelecaniformes 


Phalacrocoracidae 


1 


3 


Ciconiiformes 


Ardeidae 


8 


10 




Ciconiidae 


3 


3 




Threskiornithidae 


4 


4 


Anseriformes 


Anatidae 


9 


17 


Falconiformes 


Accipitiridae 


18 


27 




Falconidae 


1 


4 


Galliformes 


Phasianidae 


6 


12 


Gruiformes 


Turnicidae 


1 


3 




Rallidae 


6 


6 


Charadriiformes 


Jacanidae 


2 


2 




Charadriidae 


9 


17 




Rostratulidae 


1 


1 




Recurvirostridae 


1 


1 




Burhinidae 


2 


2 




Glareolidae 


2 


2 




Laridae 


3 


4 


Columbiformes 


Pteroclididae 


1 


2 




Columbidae 


4 


8 


Psittaciformes 


Psittacidae 


1 


3 


Cuculiformes 


Cuculidae 


8 


9 


Strigiformes 


Strigidae 


8 


8 


Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae 


1 


3 


Apodiformes 


Apodidae 


4 


4 


Coraciiformes 


Alcedinidae 


3 


3 




Meropidae 


1 


3 




Coraciidae 


1 


1 




Upupidae 


1 


1 




Bucerotidae 


1 


1 


Piciformes 


Capitonidae 


1 


2 




Picidae 


7 


8 


Passeriformes 


Pittidae 


1 


1 




Alaudidae 


6 


8 




Hirundinidae 


1 


5 




Laniidae 


1 


4 




Oriolidae 


1 


3 




Dicruridae 


1 


4 




Artamidae 


1 


1 




Sturnidae 


2 


7 




Corvidae 


2 


3 




Campephagidae 


3 


6 




Irenidae 


2 


3 




Pycnonotidae 


1 


3 




Muscicapidae 


27 


42 




Paridae 


1 


2 




Sittidae 


2 


3 




Motacillidae 


3 


8 




Dicaeidae 


1 


2 




Nectariniidae 


2 


3 




Zosteropidae 


1 


1 




Ploceidae 


3 


4 




Estrildidae 


2 


5 




Fringillidae 


1 


1 



3. Indian Shag Phalacrocorax 
fuscicollis Stephens 

Rare. Recorded twice during the study period. 
Once each from the vicinity of Kadam Reservoir and 
Indhanpally Tank. 

4. Little Cormorant 
Phalacrocorax itiger (VieiSlot) 

Common. Recorded in fair numbers near Kadam 
Reservoir and its associated canal network, and also 
from smaller pools inside the Sanctuary. Breeding not 
recorded. 

5. Grey Heron Ardea cinerea Linne 

Uncommon. Probably a resident, though breeding 
not recorded within the Sanctuary. Regularly seen along 
the shallow waterbodies between Janaram and Kadam. 
Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded this species from 
Utnoor. 

6. Purple Heron Ardea purpurea Linne 

Uncommon. Probably a resident, though breeding 
not recorded within the Sanctuary. A few individuals 
regularly recorded along the shallow waterbodies 
between Indhanpally and Kadam. Salim Ali collected a 
female specimen from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1934b). 

7. Large Egret Casmerodius albus (Linne) 

Uncommon. Affects shallow waterbodies 
between Indhanpally and Kadam, and to a lesser extent 
those between Janaram and Tadlapet. Totally absent 
from July to September-October. Breeding not recorded 
from or around the Sanctuary. 

8. Indian Pond-heron Ardeola grayii (Sykes) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects water edges, 
paddy fields, small streams and canals inside the 
Sanctuary. Breeding colonies recorded in the groves on 
fringe villages of Janaram, Indhanpally, Kadam, Utnoor, 
and Itikyal. Shares nesting trees with Little Egret and 
Cattle Egret. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded it from 
Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) found it to be common and 
collected a male from Kadam. 

9. Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Large numbers affect 
the agro-ecosystem along the fringe villages. Seen 
following livestock that graze within the Sanctuary. 
Locals report that it follows the Indian Gaur (Bos gaur ' 
too. Breeding colonies recorded in the groves of fringe 
villages of Janaram, Indhanpally, Kadam, Utnoor, and 
Tadlapet. Ali and Whistler ( 1 934b) recorded this species 
from Utnoor. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



5 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



10. Median Egret Mesophoyx intermedia (Wagler) 

Common. Seen along with the Little Egret 
affecting waterbodies between Indhanpally and Kadam. 
Probably a local migrant, observed in good numbers 
between September and February, up to March. 

11. Little Egret Egretta garzetta (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. As numerous as 
Cattle Egret. Affects all waterbodies near human 
settlements as well as in forested tracts. Breeding 
colonies recorded in the groves of fringe villages of 
Janaram, Indhanpally, Kadam, Utnoor, Tadlapet, Itikyal 
and Birsaipet. 

12. Black-crowned Night-heron 
Nycticorax nycticorax (Linne) 

Uncommon. Very few individuals have been 
recorded in waterbodies along the Kadam Reservoir 
and associated canals. Although breeding was not 
recorded within the Sanctuary, subadult birds were 
regularly encountered. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

13. Chestnut Bittern 
Ixobrychus cinnamomeus (Gmelin) 

Rare. Recorded thrice in the vegetation on the 
southwestern edge of Kadam Reservoir. 

14. Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis (Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Infrequently observed near Kadam 
Reservoir and large shallow waterbodies along the 
southern boundary of the Sanctuary. Breeding not 
observed. 

15. Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala (Pennant) 

Uncommon. About 4-10 birds observed feeding 
busily in Indhanpally Tank between July and September. 
Sightings of juvenile individuals may indicate the 
presence of a breeding colony within 1 50-200 km radius 
of the Sanctuary. 

16. Asian Openbill-Stork Anastomus oscitans 
(Boddaert) 

Common. Regularly seen in large numbers (up to 
70-80 individuals) in Indhanpally Tank. No breeding records 
within the Sanctuary, although juveniles were regularly 
sighted, indicating the presence of a breeding colony nearby. 
Majumdar (1984) collected a female from Kadam. 

17. White-necked Stork 
Ciconia episcopus (Boddaert) 

Uncommon. Five records along the Kadam river 
downstream from Kadam Dam, other than a pair that was 



regularly observed in teak plantations between Indhanpally, 
Narlapur and Kalleda from October to February. 

18. Oriental White Ibis 
Threskiornis melanocephalus (Latham) 

Uncommon. Recorded between July and 
September along large shallow waterbodies between 
Indhanpally and Kadam. 

19. Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa (Temminck) 

Common. Regularly recorded in good numbers in 
paddy fields along the southern boundary of the 
Sanctuary, and also between Birsaipet and Utnoor. No 
breeding colony was recorded within or along the 
boundary of the Sanctuary. 

20. Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus (Linne) 

Rare; Two records (3 and 8 individuals each), 
between Indhanpally and Kadam. 

21. Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia Linne 

Uncommon. Recorded from September to 
February along large shallow waterbodies between 
Indhanpally and Kadam. 

22. Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus (Latham) 

Rare. Two records on the edge of the Kadam 
Reservoir. 

23. Lesser Whistling-duck 
Dendrocygna javanica (Horsfield) 

Common and resident. Affects all shallow 
waterbodies along the southern boundary of the 
Sanctuary, and has also been recorded from small 
rainwater inundated pools within the forest. Although 
no nests were recorded, it probably breeds within the 
Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1934b) report its 
occurrence in Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
not very common and collected two females from 
Birsaipet. 

24. Large Whistling-duck 
Dendrocygna bicolor (Vieillot) 

Rare. Recorded once (6 individuals) in November 
1 998 from Indhanpally Tank. 

25. Brahminy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea (Pallas) 

Uncommon. Migratory. 2 to 6 individuals from 
Kadam river downstream from Kadam Dam. Majumdar 
( 1 984) collected a pair of these birds from Kadam. 

26. Northern Pintail Anas acuta Linne 

Common. Migratory. About 1 5 individuals regularly 



6 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



recorded affecting large shallow waterbodies along the 
southern boundary of the Sanctuary. 

27. Common Teal Anas crecca Linne 

Common. Migratory. About 10 individuals 
recorded during winters of 1997 and 1999 in the 
indhanpally Tank. 

28. Spot-billed Duck 

Anas poecilorhyncha J. R. Forester 

Common. Resident breeder. Over 20 individuals 
regularly recorded affecting large shallow waterbodies 
along the southern boundary of the Sanctuary. Regularly 
recorded breeding in a tank just outside Janaram and 
also at Indhanpally Tank. Majumdar (1984) found it to 
be common and collected a male specimen from 
Kadam. 

29. Gadwall Anas strepera Linne 

Rare. Migratory. Recorded once (2 individuals) 
from the Indhanpally Tank during November 1997. 

30. Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope Linne 

Rare. Migratory. Recorded twice (one and two 
individuals, respectively) from the Indhanpally Tank 
during November 1997. 

31. Garganey Anas querquedula Linne 

Common. Migratory. Over 20 individuals regularly 
recorded affecting the large shallow waterbodies 
along the southern boundary of the Sanctuary and 
also between Rampur and Utnoor. Ali and Whistler 
(1934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar 
(1984) reported it to be very common near Birsaipet 
where he collected two male and three female 
specimens. 

32. Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata Linne 

Uncommon. Migratory. Recorded throughout 
the winter of 1998-99 ranging from 3-18 individuals 
at Indhanpally Tank. Salim Ali mentions having 
observed it on 15.x. 1924 at Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 
1934b). 

33. Red-crested Pochard 
Rhodonessa rufina (Pallas) 

Uncommon. Migratory. Recorded throughout the 
winter of 1997-98 and 1998-99, ranging from 2-6 
individuals at Indhanpally Tank. 

34. Common Pochard Aythya ferina (Linne) 

Rare. Migratory. Recorded once (a pair) in 
December 1998 at Indhanpally Tank. 



35. Ferruginous Pochard 
Aythya nyroca (Giildenstadt) 

Rare. Migratory. Recorded once (a pair) in 
November 1998 at Indhanpally Tank. 

36. Tufted Pochard Aythya fidigula (Linne) 

Rare. Migratory. Recorded once (5 individuals) in 
December 1998 at Indhanpally Tank. 

37. Cotton Teal Nettapus coromandelianus (Gmelin) 

Common. Local migrant. Observed (at least a pair) 
in all large shallow waterbodies of the Sanctuary. 
Maximum number recorded at any given time were 27 
individuals. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. 

38. Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos (Pennant) 

Uncommon. Local migrant. Regularly recorded 
from 2 to 28 individuals in all the study years at 
Indhanpally Tank. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded 
this species from Utnoor. 

39. Black-shouldered Kite 
Elanus caeru/etis (Desfontaines) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open patches 
of the forest and also along the agricultural lands of the 
fringe villages. Majumdar (1984) found it to be very 
common and collected a male, a female and two female 
specimens from Kadam, Itikyal, and Birsaipet respectively. 

40. Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni (Blyth) 

Rare. Once sighted near Alinagar exclosure in the 
core area of the Sanctuary. 

41. Oriental Honey-buzzard 
Pern is ptilorhynchus (Tern mi nek) 

Uncommon. Affects open forest patches. Number 
of sightings less in summer and monsoon than in winter 
when it was frequently observed. No records of 
breeding within the Sanctuary. 

42. Black Kite Milvus ntigrans (Boddaert) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded in good 
numbers, and nests were recorded in the vicinity of 
human settlements. 

43. Brahminy Kite Haliastur indns (Boddaert) 

Common. Resident breeder. Restricted in distribution 
to Kadam Reservoir area. Occasionally also recorded 
along the canal and natural streams criss-crossing the 
Sanctuary. Nests were observed near the Reservoir area 
and young were recorded from July-August onwards. Ali 
and Whistler ( 1 934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



7 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



44. Shikra Accipiter badius (Gindin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open wooded 
areas of the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
found it to be common in certain areas and collected a 
male specimen from Itikyal, and a pair from Kadam. 

45. Crested Goshawk 
Accipiter trivirgatus (Temniinck) 

Rare. Twice sighted in teak mixed bamboo forest 
near Rampur during winter of 1 998. 

46. Besra Sparrow-hawk 
Accipiter virgatus (Temniinck) 

Rare. One bird sighted near Kalleda in November 

1998. 

47. Long-legged Buzzard 
Buteo ruftnus (Cretzschmar) 

Rare. One bird sighted in December 1997 
near the teak plantation area adjacent to Laxmipur 
exclosure. 

48. White-eyed Buzzard 
Butastiir teesa (Franklin) 

Rare. Once sighted in February 1999 near 
Nalakonda, Shivar Pedda Vagu area. Ali and Whistler 
(1934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar 
(1984) found it to be common near Itikyal and collected 
3 male specimens from the same area. 

49. Changeable Hawk-eagle 
Spizaetus cirrhatus (Gmelin) 

Common. Frequently seen along the gaps created 
by roads criss-crossing the Sanctuary. Although no nests 
were sighted it presumably breeds within the Sanctuary, 
as it is seen all year round. Majumdar ( 1984) found it to 
be common near Birsaipet, where he collected a female 
specimen. 

50. Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax Temniinck 

Common. Seen in good numbers throughout the 
Sanctuary. No breeding was recorded. 

51. Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga Pallas 

Rare. Once sighted near the southern edge of the 
Kadam Reservoir in January 1999. 

52 . Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina Brehm 

Rare. Two sightings, first near northern edge of 
the Dam on the Kadam Reservoir in November 1998, 
and another along the main canal of Kadam Reservoir 
in January 1999. 



53. Black Eagle Ictinaetus malayensis (Temminck) 

Rare. Once sighted near Kalleda Vagu (Pedda 
Vagu) in May 1998. 

54. Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus (Scopoli) 

Rare. Six individuals sighted feeding on carcass 
of cow along with other vulture species on the edge of 
Kadam Reservoir in January 1998. 

55. Eurasian Griffon Gyps fulvus (Hablizl) 

Uncommon. Twenty-one individuals have been 
recorded in 3 sightings on the edges of Kadam Reservoir. 
Ali and Whistler ( 1 934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 

56. Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus (Scopoli) 

Uncommon. Thirty-eight individuals have been 
recorded in 3 sightings on the edge of Kadam Reservoir 
and one near Tadlapet. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

57 Indian White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis 
(Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Not frequently seen, probable 
resident. Thirty-two to forty birds have been 
recorded in a total of seven sightings all along the fringes 
of the Sanctuary. No sightings since August 1999. Ali 
and Whistler (1934b) recorded this species from 
Utnoor. 

58. Egyptian Vulture 
Neophron percnopterus (Linne) 

Uncommon. A pair was frequently seen near 
Kadam Reservoir area till August 1999. 

59. Pallid Harrier 

Circus macrourus (S. G. Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Regularly seen affecting open forests 
and agriculture fields. 

60. Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus (Linne) 

Rare. Pair seen in January 1999, near a check- 
dam near Udhumpur. 

61. Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos (Pennant) 

Uncommon. Regularly seen along agriculture fields 
downstream of Kadam Dam and twice sighted in the 
open valley near Rampur. 

62. Western Marsh-harrier 
Circus aeruginosus (Linne) 

Rare. Recorded twice in the agriculture fields 
downstream of the Kadam Dam during the winter of 
1998-99. 



8 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



63. Short-toed Snake-eagle 
Circaetus gallicus (Gmelin) 

Common. Regularly seen affecting open forests 
and also cultivated fields. Probably a breeder, though 
no nests were recorded. 

64. Crested Serpent-eagle 
Spilornis cheela (Latham) 

Common. Seen in fairly good numbers affecting 
teak plantations and natural teak mixed miscellaneous 
forests. Although no nests were recorded, it probably 
breeds within the Sanctuary. Majumdar (1 984) reported 
it to be widely distributed and collected a female 
specimen from Birsaipet. 

65. Osprey Pandion haliaetus (Linne) 

Rare. Recorded twice (December 1997 and 
February 1998) fishing on the Kadam Reservoir. 

66. Laggar Falco jugger J. E. Gray 

Rare. Once sighted near the village enclosure of 
Laxmipur. 

67. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Tunstall 

Rare. Three records during winter in the vicinity 
of Kadam Reservoir. 

68. Red-headed Falcon Falco chicquera Daudin 

Common. Regularly seen affecting open forests 
and cultivated fields, especially along the village 
enclosures between Indhanpally and Kadam on the 
southern boundary, and Birsaipet and Utnoor on the 
northern side of the Sanctuary. Breeding not recorded. 

69. Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Linne 

Common. Regularly seen affecting open forests, 
teak plantations and village enclosures within the 
Sanctuary. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be rare and 
collected a female specimen from Itikyal. 

70. Painted Francolin 
Francolinus pictus (Jardine & Selby) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded along the 
scrub and forest edge mainly near Birsaipet, Kalleda 
and Itikyal. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. 

71 . Grey Francolin 

Francolinus pondicerianus (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded along the 
scrub, agriculture fields and forest edge throughout the 
Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler ( 1 934b) reported this species 
to be absent from Utnoor. 



72. Common Quail Coturnix coturnix (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded along the 
scrub, agriculture fields and forest edge throughout the 
Sanctuary. 

73. Rain Quail Coturnix coromandelica (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded to affect 
scrub, fallow and cultivated fields, and forest edge 
especially along the human settlements throughout the 
Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. 

74. Blue-breasted Quail Coturnix chinensis (Linne) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Recorded in small 
numbers affecting fallow and scrubland throughout the 
fringe areas of the Sanctuary. 

75. Jungle Bush-quail Perdicula asiatica (Latham) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded in good 
numbers along the open scrub, agriculture fields and in 
the rocky habitat in the vicinity of village enclosures. 
Salim Ali collected a couple of male specimens from 
Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1934b). Majumdar (1984) 
collected a male specimen from Itikyal. 

76. Rock Bush-quail Perdicula argoondalt (Sykes) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Recorded in small 
numbers along the northern areas of the Sanctuary. 

77. Red Spurfowl Galloperdix spadicea (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Females on nests 
were observed in teak mixed bamboo forest patches 
between January and March. Fairly well represented 
throughout the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

78. Painted Spurfowl 
Galloperdix lunulata (Valenciennes) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Frequently met 
with in teak mixed miscellaneous and teak mixed 
bamboo forest patches within the Sanctuary. 

79. Red Junglefowl Gallus gall us (Linne) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. A few individuals 
noted in teak mixed miscellaneous forests near 
Dongapally, Rampur and Alampally areas. 

80. Grey Junglefowl 

Gallus sonneratii (Temminck) 

Common. Resident breeder. Found in good 
numbers throughout the undisturbed or less disturbed 
areas of the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



9 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



81. Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus Linne 

Common. Resident breeder. Fairly good numbers 
throughout the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

82. Small Buttonquail Turnix sylvatica (Desfontaines) 

Rare. Twice sighted between Birsaipet and 
Utnoor. Probably a resident breeder. 

83. Yellow-legged Buttonquail Turnix tanki Blyth 

Uncommon. Occasional sightings along 
agriculture fields and scrub openings. It probably breeds 
within the Sanctuary. 

84. Common Buttonquail Turnix suscitator (Gnielin) 

Uncommon. Occasionally sighted in a few localities 
between Rampur and Utnoor, and between Indhanpally 
and Kadam. It probably breeds within the Sanctuary. 
Majumdar (1 984) reported it to be not very common and 
collected a female specimen from Birsaipet. 

85. Spotted Crake Porznna fused (Linne) 

Rare. Once sighted near Kadam Reservoir. 
Probably a straggler or has been overlooked due to its 
secretive nature. 

86. White-breasted Waterhen 
Amaurornis phoenicurus (Pennant) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects stream beds, 
canals, shallow waterbodies, and the vicinity of the 
Kadam Reservoir. 

87. Watercock Gallicre x cinerea (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder but recorded in small 
numbers. Observed from Kadam Reservoir and its 
adjoining area, from all shallow waterbodies scattered 
along the southern boundary, and from a seasonal stream 
between Birsaipet and Utnoor. 

88. Common Moorhen GaUinula cliloropus (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Recorded in 
moderate numbers all through the year in large shallow 
waterbodies along the southern boundary. Numbers 
increase during the winter season. Ali and Whistler 
(1934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 

89. Purple Moorhen Porphyria porphyria (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Fewer in number than 
the Common Moorhen. Recorded from all shallow 
waterbodies scattered along the southern boundary. 
Numbers increase during the winter season. Ali and 
Whistler ( 1 934b) reported this species as not uncommon 
in Utnoor. 



l 0 



90. Common Coot Fulica atra Linne 

Common. Resident breeder. A few individuals have 
been recorded throughout the year from large shallow 
waterbodies and Kadam Reservoir. Populations increase 
considerably during winter. Majumdar ( 1 984) found it to 
be common and collected a male specimen from Birsaipet. 

91. Pheasant-tailed Jacana 
Hydrophasianus c/tirurgus (Scopoli) 

Uncommon within the Sanctuary limits, but a 
common resident breeder recorded in good numbers 
from the smaller shallow waterbodies scattered between 
Indhanpally and Kadam. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

92 Bronze-winged Jacana 
Metopidius indicus (Latham) 

More common than the Pheasant-tailed Jacana. 
Resident breeder, very frequently seen on all the 
waterbodies within the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler 
( 1 934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 

93. Greater Painted-snipe 
Rostratula benghalensis (Linne) 

Rare. A single male was observed in February 
1 998 near Indhanpally tank. Ali and Whistler ( 1 934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

94 Red-wattled Lapwing 
Vanellus indicus (Boddaert) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently observed 
in scrub forest areas and adjacent village enclo- 
sures. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded this species 
from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) found it to be very 
common and collected a female specimen from 
Itikyal. 

95. River Lapwing Vanellus duvaucelii (Lesson) 

Uncommon. Frequently observed along Kadam 
and its network of canals. 

96. Yellow-wattled Lapwing 
Vanellus nudabaricus (Boddaert) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open scrub 
forest and adjacent village enclosures. Ali and Whistler 
(1934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 

97. Pacific Golden Plover 
Pluvialis fulva (Gmelin) 

Rare. Once sighted (6 individuals) downstream of 
the Kadam Dam in December 1998. Probably stragglers. 
Ali and Whistler (1934b) reported it to be absent from 
Utnoor. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



98. Greater Sand Plover 
Charadrius leschenaultii Lesson 

Rare. Once seen in November 1998 near 
Indhanpally Tank. Probably a straggler. 

99. Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dub i us Scopoli 

Common. Winter migrant. Recorded from all the 
waterbodies within the Sanctuary, more common along 
the Kadam and associated canals. Majumdar (1984) 
reported it to be not very common and collected a female 
specimen from Itikyal. 

1 00. Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Linne 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Infrequently recorded 

from large shallow waterbodies along the southern 
boundary of the Sanctuary. Majumdar ( 1 984) collected 
a pair from Kadam. 

101. Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata (Linne) 
Rare. One pair sighted in flight near Kadam 

Reservoir in December 1998. Probably stragglers. 

102. Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (Linne) 

Rare. Two individuals sighted near paddy fields 
near the Kadam Reservoir in November 1998. No 
sightings within the Sanctuary limits. 

103. Common Redshank Tringa totanus (Linne) 

Common. Winter migrant. Seen along all larger 
shallow waterbodies within the Sanctuary. 

104. Marsh Sandpiper 
Tringa stagnatilis (Bechstein) 

Common. Winter migrant. Seen along larger 
shallow waterbodies near Tadlapet, Indhanpally to 
Kadam, and Utnoor. 

105. Common Greenshank 
Tringa nebularia (Gunner) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Seen in small 
numbers along shallow waterbodies between Kadam 
and Indhanpally. Majumdar ( 1 984) collected one female 
specimen each from Itikyal and Birsaipet. 

106. Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola Linne 

Common. Winter migrant. Seen along large shallow 
waterbodies between Kadam and Indhanpally. Ali and 
Whistler ( 1 934b) recorded this species from Utnoor and 
its adjoining area. 

107. Common Sandpiper Actitis liypoleucos Linne 

Common. Winter migrant. Seen in fairly good 
numbers affecting all waterbodies within the Sanctuary. 



108. Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago (Linne) 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Frequently observed 

in small numbers at Indhanpally Tank and Kadam 
Reservoir. Salim Ali reports flushing a pair on April 8, 
1932 among reeds bordering a tank at Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1934b). 

109. Little Stint Calidris minuta (Leisler) 

Common. Regularly seen in fairly good numbers 
affecting large waterbodies within the Sanctuary. Along 
smaller waterbodies up to 1 2 individuals were observed. 

1 1 0. Temminck’s Stint Calidris temminckii (Leisler) 
Common. Regularly seen in mixed flocks with little 

stint. Confined to large waterbodies. Very few individuals 
were sighted along smaller waterbodies. 

111. Black-winged Stilt 
Himantopus himantopus (Linne) 

Common. Winter migrant. Regularly recorded in 
flocks up to 76 individuals affecting large shallow 
waterbodies and paddy fields between Janaram and 
Kadam, and also in the vicinity of Utnoor. Ali and 
Whistler (1934b) did not record this species from 
Utnoor. 

112. Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus (Linne) 
Uncommon. Resident breeder. Affects open scrub 

strewn with boulders. Young ones were observed 
between March and May. 

113. Great Stone-plover 
Esacus recurvirostris (Cuvier) 

Uncommon. One pair regularly noted along the 
Kadam river downstream of the Kadam Dam. Possibly 
breeds within the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler ( 1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor and its environs. 

114. Indian Courser 

Cursorius coromandelicus (Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Regularly seen in small flocks up to 
six individuals affecting scrub areas of the Sanctuary. 

1 1 5. Small Pratincole 
Glareola l act e a (Temminck) 

Rare. Twice recorded in flocks of 8 and 1 1 
individuals in November 1998. Majumdar (1984) 
collected a pair of specimens from Kadam. 

116. Brown-headed Gull 
Larus brunniceplialus Jerdon 

Rare. Thrice sighted between October and 
December 1998 near Kadam Reservoir. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



11 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



117. Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus (Pallas) 
Uncommon. One to six individuals regularly sighted 

near Kadam Reservoir. 

118. River Tern Sterna aurantia J.E. Gray 
Common. Regularly sighted near Kadam 

Reservoir and all along the major canals in the Sanctuary. 

1 19. Little Tern Sterna albifrons Pallas 

Rare. Once sighted in March 1998 near Kadam 
Reservoir. Identified by its small size, black cap and 
orange bill. 

120. Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse 
Pt erodes ex ns t us Temminck 

Uncommon. A few individuals regularly sighted 
along the cultivated or fallow tracts of village enclosures 
within the Sanctuary. Probably a breeder within the 
Sanctuary. 

121. Painted Sandgrouse Pterocles indicus (Gmelin) 
Rare. Twice sighted in flight, identified by the lack 

of pin feathers. Ali and Whistler (1934b) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
not very common and collected a pair from Itikyal. 

122. Orange-breasted Green-pigeon 
Treron bicincta (Jerdon) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in 
small flocks affecting teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
and teak mixed bamboo forest patches between Rampur 
and Birsaipet. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very 
common and collected two male specimens from 
Birsaipet. 

123. Yellow-legged Green-pigeon 
Treron pboenicoptera (Latham) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in 
small flocks of 2 to 8 individuals affecting teak mixed 
miscellaneous forest patches. Majumdar (1984) found 
it to be common and collected a male and three female 
specimens from Kadam, and a female specimen from 
Birsaipet. 

124. Green Imperial-pigeon Ducula aenea (Linne) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in 
small flocks of 2 to 6 individuals all along the thick, 
forested tracts. 

125 . Blue Rock Pigeon Columba livia Gmelin 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen 
around villages and fallow fields. Nests observed in 
towns. 



1 2 



126. Eurasian Collared-dove 
Streptopelia decaocto (Frivaldszky) 

Common. Resident breeder. Ubiquitous in villages, 
cultivated and fallow fields. Ali and Whistler (1934b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
found it to be very common and collected a pair of 
specimens from Itikyal. 

127. Red Collared-dove 
Streptopelia tranquebarica (Hermann) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen 
around villages and fallow fields. Salim Ali reports 
sighting of this species from Nirmal in 1925 (Ali and 
Whistler 1934b). 

128. Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis (Scopoli) 
Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen affecting 

cultivated or fallow fields, and around village enclosures. 
Ali and Whistler ( 1 934b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar ( 1 984) found it to be very common and collected 
a female specimen from Kadam. 

129. Little Brown Dove 
Streptopelia senegalensis (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen near 
cultivated or fallow fields, open scrub and teak mixed 
miscellaneous forests. Majumdar (1984) reported it to 
be very common and collected a female specimen from 
Kadam. 

130. Alexandrine Parakeet 
Psittacula eupatria (Linne) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly observed 
in large flocks affecting jowar and maize crops especially 
areas between Rampur and Utnoor. Ali and Whistler 
(1934a) recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar 
(1984) found it to be common and collected a female 
specimen from Itikyal. 

131. Rose-ringed Parakeet 
Psittacula krameri (Scopoli) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in large 
flocks affecting jowar, bajra and maize crops grown in 
cultivated tracts of village enclosures. Up to 10,000 
individuals roost in 5 ha teak plantation near Dosthnagar. 
Ali and Whistler (1 934a) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) found it to be common and collected 
two pairs of specimens from Itikyal. 

132. Plum-headed Parakeet 
Psittacula cyanocephala (Linne) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Frequently sighted 
in good numbers affecting maize, jowar and bajra fields 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



between Birsaipet and Utnoor, and near Tadlapet. Salim 
Ali collected a male specimen from Utnoor environs 
(Ali and Whistler 1934a). Majumdar (1984) found it to 
be very common and collected three male and five 
female specimens from Itikyal, and two male specimens 
from Kadam. 

133. Pied Crested Cuckoo 
Clamator jacobinus (Boddaert) 

Common. Resident; although not noted, probably 
a breeder. Regularly seen throughout the year with 
augmentation in numbers between late May to October. 

134. Brainfever Bird Hierococcyx varius (Vahl) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

year. One pair observed copulating in early March 1 999. 
Probably a brood parasite on Turdoides sp. nests. Ali 
and Whistler ( 1 934a) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) collected one and two specimens (all 
male) from Birsaipet and Itikyal respectively. 

135. Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus Linne 
Rare. Occasionally heard, but never sighted in 

summer. 

136. Indian Plaintive Cuckoo 
Cacomantis passerinus (Vahl) 

Uncommon. Resident, breeding not observed. 
Regularly seen in teak mixed miscellaneous forests. 

137. Drongo Cuckoo Surniculus lugubris (Horsfield) 

Rare. A single record from Kalleda Teak 
Plantation area in November 1998. 

138. Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopacea (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen year-round 

throughout the Sanctuary, call more vociferous during 
the monsoon. Ali and Whistler (1934a) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. 

139. Small Green-billed Malkoha 

Pit aen icopli aeus viridirostris ( Je r d o n ) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently sighted 
affecting mixed miscellaneous forest patches. 

140. Sirkeer Cuckoo 
Phaenicophaeus leschenaultii Lesson 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Seen along the forest 
edges. Courtship observed between April and May. Ali 
and Whistler ( 1 934a) recorded this species from Utnoor. 

141. Great Coucal Centropus sinensis (Stephens) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 



Sanctuary. Mating pairs were observed from August to 
September. Ali and Whistler (1934a) collected a male 
specimen from Utnoor. 

142. Barn Owl Tyto alba (Scopoli) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Infrequently seen 

in open patches around village enclosures. Salim Ali 
reported sighting of this species at Talamadri village on 
October 14, 1925 (Ali and Whistler 1934a). 

143. Collared Scops-owl Otus bakkamoena Pennant 
Common. Resident breeder. Affecting both natural 

teak mixed miscellaneous forest and teak plantation 
areas. Ali and Whistler (1934a) did not record this 
species from Utnoor. 

144. Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo (Linne) 
Uncommon. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 

along rocky outcrops within the Sanctuary. Majumdar 
(1984) found it to be uncommon and collected a male 
specimen from Itikyal. 

145. Brown Fish-owl Ketupa zeylonensis (Temminck) 
Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen along 

well-wooded forest patches. Near Kadam Reservoir and 
associated canals. One nest was observed in a cavity of 
Samanea saman on the outskirts of Kadam village. 

146. Jungle Owlet Glaucidium radiatum (Tickell) 
Common. Resident breeder. Affects teak mixed 

miscellaneous forest patches and teak plantation areas. 
Salim Ali collected an unsexed specimen from Utnoor 
(Ali and Whistler 1934a). 

147. Spotted Owlet Athene brama (Temminck) 
Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 

and heard in villages and scrub areas. Ali and Whistler 
(1934a) recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar 
(1984) found it to be very common and collected one 
female from Itikyal and two females from Kadam. 

148. Mottled Wood-owl Strix ocellata (Lesson) 
Uncommon. Resident breeder. Frequently seen in 

villages and scrub areas. 

1 49. Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan) 

Rare. Once recorded near Laxminagar hamlet in 
January 1999. 

150. Indian Jungle Nightjar 
Caprintulgus indicus Latham 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen 
throughout the Sanctuary. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



13 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



151. Common Indian Nightjar 
Caprimulgus asiaticus Latham 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen at 
night feeding over roads criss-crossing the Sanctuary. 
Majumdar (1984) found it to be very common and 
collected three males and one female from Itikyal, and 
a female from Birsaipet. 

1 52. Franklin’s Nightjar 
Caprimulgus affinis Horsfield 

Uncommon. Very few sightings within the Sanctuary. 
Probably breeds within the Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected 
a pair of specimens from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1934a). 

153. Alpine Swift Tachymarptis melba (Linne) 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Flocks regularly seen 

from September to January. 

1 54. House Swift Apus affinis (J.E. Gray) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

year, a large breeding colony recorded under the bridge 
across Kadam river below the Kadam Dam. Majumdar 
( 1 984) reported it to be very common and collected two 
males and three females from Itikyal, and one female 
from Kadam. 

155. Asian Palm-swift 
Cypsiurus balasiensis (J.E. Gray) 

Common. Not a resident within the Sanctuary, but 
affects the villages on the fringes between Tadlapet and 
Tapalapur, Janaram and Indhanpally, and in the vicinity 
of Utnoor. Young ones noted from March to April, but 
no nests were located. Salim Ali collected a male and a 
juvenile (unsexed) specimen from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1934a). Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
common and collected a male specimen from Kadam. 

156. Crested Tree-swift 
Hemiprocne coronata (Tickell) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Seen frequenting 
open patches in teak mixed miscellaneous forest. Salim 
Ali collected a pair of specimens from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1934a). 

157. Lesser Pied Kingfisher Ceryle ruilis (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

year along large and small waterbodies and paddy fields. 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be not common, and 
collected a female specimen from Itikyal. 

158. Small Blue Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen along the 
waterbodies and paddy fields throughout the Sanctuary. 

1 4 



Salim Ali collected a female specimen from Utnoor (Ali 
and Whistler 1934a.). Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
very common and collected two female specimens from 
Birsaipet. 

159. White-breasted Kingfisher 
Halcyon smyrnensis (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary. Majumdar ( 1 984) found it to be very common 
and collected a male specimen from Itikyal. 

160. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater 
Merops leschenaulti Vieillot 

Uncommon. Resident with local movements, 
breeding not recorded. Seen throughout the year in small 
numbers near Kadam Reservoir. Augmentation in 
numbers noted from September to December indicating 
seasonal local movements. 

161. Blue-tailed Bee-eater 
Merops philippinus Linne 

Uncommon. Resident with local movements, 
breeding not recorded. Frequently seen near Kadam 
Reservoir and also along the associated canal 
network. 

162. Small Bee-eater Merops orientalis Latham 
Common. Resident breeder. Affects cultivated 

and scrub tracts of the Sanctuary and is regularly 
seen along teak mixed miscellaneous forest especially 
along forest streams. Salim Ali collected a male 
specimen from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1934a). 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very common and 
collected five male and two female specimens from 
Itikyal. 

163. Indian Roller Coracias benghalensis (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

Sanctuary, more common along cultivated and scrub 
tracts. Nests observed in tree hollows. Ali and Whistler 
(1934a) reported this species to be abundant in the 
leafless deciduous forest in Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
found it to be common and collected a male specimen 
from Itikyal. 

164. Hoopoe Upupa epops Linne 

Common. Resident breeder. Although no nests 
were recorded, individuals carrying nesting material 
were observed. Seen throughout the Sanctuary, but more 
common along cultivated tracts and patches of teak 
plantation. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be not 
common, and collected a male specimen from Itikyal 
and a female specimen from Kadam. 



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BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



165. Indian Grey Hornbill 
Ocyceros birostris (Scopoli) 

Common. Resident with probable breeding 
status. Recorded in pairs affecting mixed miscella- 
neous forested tracts near village enclosures. No nests 
were sighted during the study period. Ali and 
Whistler (1934a) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) found it to be common and collected 
one male specimen from Itikyal, and a pair from 
Kadam. 

166. Brown-headed Barbet 
Megalaima zeylanica (Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Resident, breeding not recorded. 
Occasionally sighted along the forested tracts adjacent 
to cultivated fields and also in teak mixed miscellaneous 
forest patches. 

167. Coppersmith Barbet 
Megalaima haemacepliala (P.L.S. Muller) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen in all types of 
forest patches within the Sanctuary. 

168. Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla Linne 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Occasionally 

recorded from open scrub and teak mixed miscellaneous 
forest tracts from October to December. 

169. Rufous Woodpecker 
Celeus brachyurus (Vieillot) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Observed affect- 
ing teak plantations, Teak Mixed Bamboo Forests 
and teak mixed miscellaneous forest patches. 
Fewer in numbers than other resident woodpecker 
species. 

170. Little Scaly-bellied Green Woodpecker 
Picas xanthopygaeus (J.E. Gray & G.R. Gray) 

Rare. Resident and probably a breeder within 
the Sanctuary; although no nests were noted. Usually 
seen singly affecting teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
and teak plantation patches between Rampur and 
Birsaipet. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be not very 
common and collected a female specimen from 
Birsaipet. 

171. Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker 
Dinopium benghalense (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen almost 
throughout the Sanctuary. Majumdar ( 1 984) reported it 
to be very common and collected one male and two 
female specimens from Itikyal, a male from Kadam, 
and a female from Birsaipet. 



172. Great Black Woodpecker 
Dryocopus javensis (Horsfield) 

Rare. Probably a resident breeder. First recorded 
by the author in teak mixed miscellaneous forest near 
Rampur in February 1997, subsequently a few more 
individuals were sighted (Srinivasulu et al. 200 1 ). It has 
been reported to be common from Surat Dangs to 
Western Ghats and Hills of Tamil Nadu (Ali and Ripley 
1 987). Occasional sightings, from Bastar (Ali 1951) and 
Udanti (Bharos 1992), Central India and Jyothimamidi 
in Vishakapatnam district, Eastern Ghats (Ripley etal. 

1 987), indicate that small populations exist sporadically 
between the Eastern Ghats and the Satpura Hills. 

173. Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker 
Dendrocopos mahrattensis (Latham) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Always seen in 
pairs throughout the Sanctuary. Majumdar ( 1 984) found 
it to be common and collected a pair of specimens from 
Itikyal. 

174. Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker 
Dendrocopos nanus (Vigors) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Always seen in 
pairs in almost all the forest types within the Sanctuary. 
Salim Ali reports sighting of a juvenile just out of nest 
being fed by its parents between Icchoda and Utnoor 
on March 31, 1932 (Ali and Whistler 1934a). Majumdar 
(1984) found it to be common and collected a pair of 
specimens from Birsaipet. 

175. Black-shouldered Woodpecker 
Chrysocolaptes festivus (Boddaert) 

Rare. Probably a resident breeder. Occasionally 
sighted in pairs or singly in teak mixed miscellaneous 
forest and teak plantation patches near Kadam, 
Udhumpur, Rampur, Birsaipet and Kalleda. Majumdar 
(1984) reported it to be rare and collected a female 
specimen from Kadam. 

176. Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura (Linne) 

Rare. Sighted thrice from November to January 
in 1997 and 1998. 

177. Singing Bush-lark Mirafra cantillans Blyth 
Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. 

Occasionally sighted affecting fallow and open scrub 
areas of the Sanctuary. 

178. Jerdon’s Bush-lark Mirafra affinis Blyth 
Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Regularly 

observed near cultivated and fallow fields, and open scrub 
patches of the Sanctuary. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



15 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



179. Red-winged Bush-lark 
Mirafra erythroptera Blyth 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently sighted 
affecting fallow and cultivated fields, and open scrub 
patches of the Sanctuary. 

180. Ashy-crowned Fineh-lark 
Eremopterix grisea (Scopoli) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently sighted in 
pairs and small parties affecting fallow fields and open 
scrub areas of the Sanctuary. Majumdar ( 1 984) reported 
it to be very common and collected a pair of specimens 
from Itikyal. 

181. Rufous-tailed Fineh-lark 
Amntomanes phoenicurus (Franklin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently sighted 
affecting open scrub areas, and fallow and cultivated 
tracts of the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933c) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
reported it to be not uncommon and collected a male 
specimen from Kadam. 

182. Greater Short-toed Lark 
Calandrella brachydactyla (Leisler) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen along 
fallow and open scrub patches. Seen in good numbers 
from November to March. 

183. Sykes’s Crested Lark Galerida deva (Sykes) 
Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen near 

open scrub areas and fallow fields along the village 
enclosures in the Sanctuary. 

184. Eastern Skylark Alauda gulgula Franklin 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently sighted in 
the open scrub areas, and fallow and cultivated tracts 
of the Sanctuary. Numbers swell from October to 
March, indicating local movements. 

185. Dusky Crag-inartin Hirundo concolor Sykes 
Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Seen 

regularly near Kadam Reservoir. 

186. Common Swallow Hirundo rustica Linne 
Common. Winter migrant. Large congregations 

observed to affect cultivated tracts within and around 
the Sanctuary from November to December. 

187. Wire-tailed Swallow Hirundo smithii Leach 
Common. Small resident population near Kadam 

and Itikyal regions. Numbers swell during winter months, 
indicating local movements. No breeding was noted. 

1 6 



Majumdar (1984) reported it to be rather uncommon 
and collected a pair of specimens from Birsaipet. 

188. Streak-throated Swallow 
Hirundo fluvicola Blyth 

Uncommon. Probably a resident, breeding not 
recorded. Occasionally sighted near Kadam Reservoir 
and Kalleda, affects cultivated tracts and village 
outskirts. 

189. Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica Linne 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen in association 
with Flouse Swift near Kadam, Itikyal, Birsaipet and 
Utnoor. Numbers swell during winter months indicating 
local migration. Ali and Whistler ( 1 933c) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) reported 
occurrence of two sub species, namely the common 
H.d. nipalensis and the rather uncommon H.d. 
erythropygia. Fie collected two male and six female 
specimens of the former and two male specimens of 
the latter from Kadam. 

190. Southern Grey Shrike 
Lanins meridionalis Temminck 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 
along open scrub and in the vicinity of village enclosures. 
Ali and Whistler (1933b) quoting from Ali’s diary of 
1 925, state that this species was common near Talamadri, 
but add that it was not met with anywhere within 50 
miles of Utnoor between April 1-10, 1932. 

191. Bay-backed Shrike 
Lanins vittatus Valenciennes 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently affects 
open scrub and fallow fields within the Sanctuary. Ali 
and Whistler ( 1 933b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 

192. Rufous-backed Shrike Lanius schacli Linne 
Uncommon. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 

along open scrub, fallow fields and teak plantations 
within the Sanctuary. Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
common and collected one male and four female 
specimens from Itikyal. 

193. Brown Shrike Lanius crisiatus Linne 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Occasionally sighted 

in fallow fields, open scrub and teak plantations from 
November to January. Salim Ali collected a specimen 
(unsexed) from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933b). 

1 94. Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen singly 
or in pairs in all types of forest within the Sanctuary. Ali 



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BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



and Whistler (1933b) reported this species to be fairly 
common in Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
common and collected a male specimen each from 
Itikyal and Kadam. 

195. Black-naped Oriole Oriolus chinensis Linne 
Rare. Winter migrant. Thrice sighted from 

December to January within the Sanctuary near Rampur, 
Birsaipet and Udhumpur. 

196. Black-headed Oriole 
Oriolus xanthornus (Linne) 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Sightings 
very few, but throughout the year. Seen in teak mixed 
miscellaneous forest and teak mixed bamboo forest patches 
in the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933b) reported this 
species to be fairly common in Utnoor and its environs. 

197. Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus Vieillot 
Common. Resident breeder. Very frequently seen 

in all types of forest patches, cultivated, fallow and open 
scrub areas of the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933b) 
reported it to be scarce, adding that Salim Ali collected 
a female specimen from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
reported it to be very common and collected a male 
specimen each from Itikyal and Kadam. 

198. Ashy Drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus Vieillot 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Very few sighted in 

teak mixed bamboo forest and teak plantation patches. 
Seldom seen in scrub areas. Majumdar (1984) reported 
it to be not very common and collected a male specimen 
from Birsaipet. 

199. White-bellied Drongo 
Dicrurus caerulescens (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly sighted in 
teak mixed miscellaneous forest patches and around 
village fringes in the core area of the Sanctuary. Salim 
Ali collected a female specimen from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1933b). 

200. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 
Dicrurus paradiseus (Linne) 

Uncommon. Resident, probably breeding. 
Occasionally sighted in Teak Mixed Bamboo Forest and 
teak plantation patches of the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler 
(1933b) did not record this species from Utnoor. 

201. Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus Vieillot 
Common. Resident, no nesting recorded but 

probably breeds within the Sanctuary. Regularly seen 
near village fringes and open scrub. 



202. Grey-headed Starling 
Sturnus malabaricus (Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Resident, probably breeds within the 
Sanctuary. Affects open scrub near teak plantations. 
Populations swell during winter months, indicating local 
migration. Majumdar (1984) reports sighting of this 
species. 

203. Brahminy Starling 
Sturnus p ago durum (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen frequently 
near cultivation and in open scrub. Salim Ali collec- 
ted a male from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933b). 
Majumdar ( 1 984) found it to be common and collected 
a male and two females from Itikyal, five males 
and a female from Kadam, and a female from 
Birsaipet. 

204. Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus (Linne) 

Common. Winter migrant. Regularly seen from 
August to February in medium to large flocks along 
cultivation, scrub and teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
patches. 

205. Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris Linne 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Unlike Rosy Starling, 
these were sighted only on a few occasions along 
cultivation and open scrub patches. 

206. Asian Pied Myna Sturnus contra Linne 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects cultivation, 
open scrub, and teak mixed forest patches especially 
along waterbodies, more common between Birsaipet and 
Utnoor. 

207. Common Myna Acridothcres tristis (Linne) 

Common. Ubiquitous resident breeder. Affects all 
types of forest patches within the Sanctuary. Ali and 
Whistler (1933b) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) reports it to be very common and 
collected a female specimen from Itikyal. 

208. Jungle Myna Acridotheres fuscus (Wagler) 
Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. 

Infrequent sightings in teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
patches in areas of Janaram and Nirmal Forest Division 
comprising the Sanctuary. 

209. Indian Treepie 
Dendrocitta vagabunda (Latham) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects teak 
mixed miscellaneous forest, teak mixed bamboo 
forest, teak plantation, scrub patches and near 



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17 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



villages. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very 
common and collected two male specimens from 
Itikyal. 

210. House Crow Corvus splendens Vieillot 
Common. Resident breeder. Encountered 

throughout the Sanctuary. 

211. Jungle Crow Corvus macrorhynchos Wagler 
Common. Resident breeder. Although not a match 

in numbers to the Common Crow, it is frequently seen 
throughout the Sanctuary. 

212. Common Woodshrike 
Tephrodornis pondicerianus (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects teak 
plantation, teak mixed miscellaneous forest and teak 
mixed bamboo forest patches. Ali and Whistler (1933b) 
recorded this species from areas adjoining Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) found it to be common and collected 
a male specimen from Itikyal. 

213. Large Cuckoo-shrike Coracina macei (Lesson) 
Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen in 

teak plantation and teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
patches of the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933b) 
recorded this species from Utnoor. 

214. Black-headed Cuckoo-shrike 
Coracina melanoptera Ruppell 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects patches of 
teak mixed miscellaneous forest and bamboo plantation 
in the Sanctuary. 

215. Scarlet Minivet 
Pericrocotus flammeus (Forster) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects teak 
plantation and teak mixed miscellaneous forest in the 
Sanctuary. 

216. Small Minivet 
Pericrocotus cinnamomeus (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen regularly in teak 
plantation and teak mixed miscellaneous forest in the 
Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933b) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. 

217. White-bellied Minivet 
Pericrocotus erythropygius (Jerdon) 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Regularly 
seen in scrub and teak mixed miscellaneous forest in 
the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933b) did not record 
this species from Utnoor. 

1 8 



218. Common Iora Aegithina tiphia (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Affects all types of 

forest in the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933a) did not 
record this species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
reports it to be very common and collected a male 
specimen from Itikyal. 

219. Gold-fronted Chloropsis 
Chloropsis aurifrons (Temminck) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in 
all types of forest in the Sanctuary. 

220. Jerdon’s Chloropsis 
Chloropsis cochinchinensis (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in all 
types of forest in the Sanctuary. 

221. Red-whiskered Bulbul 
Pycnonotus jocosus (Linne) 

Rare. Sighted six times near Utnoor and Birsaipet 
regions. Ali and Whistler (1933a) reported it to be 
conspicuously absent from Utnoor. 

222. Red-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus cafer (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in all 

types of forest in the Sanctuary. Majumdar (1984) 
reported it to be very common and collected three males 
and five females from Itikyal. 

223. White-browed Bulbul 
Pycnonotus luteolus (Lesson) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in all 
types of forest in the Sanctuary. 

224. Spotted Babbler 
Pellorneum ruficeps Swainson 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Occasionally 
sighted in teak mixed bamboo forest and teak plantation. 
Ali and Whistler (1933a) did not come across this species 
from Utnoor. 

225. Rufous-bellied Babbler 
Dumetia hyperythra (Franklin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open scrub 
and teak mixed miscellaneous forest in the Sanctuary. 
Salim Ali collected a male from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 
1933a). 

226. Yellow-eyed Babbler 
Chrysomma sinense (Gmelin) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open scrub, 
near villages, teak mixed miscellaneous forest and teak 
plantation within the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933a) 



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BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



recorded this species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
found it to be common and collected three males and 
one female from Kadam, and one female from Birsaipet. 

227. Common Babbler Turdoides caudatus (Dumont) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

Sanctuary. 

228. Large Grey Babbler 
Turdoides malcolmi (Sykes) 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open scrub, 
fallow fields and teak mixed miscellaneous forest. 
Ali and Whistler ( 1 933a) reported it as absent from Utnoor. 

229. Jungle Babbler Turdoides striatus (Dumont) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933a) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) found it to be 
common and collected two male specimens from Itikyal, 
a male and six females from Kadam, and a male from 
Birsaipet. 

230. White-headed Babbler 
Turdoides affinis (Jerdon) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary, but seems to prefer open scrub, cultivated 
fields and teak mixed miscellaneous forest over other 
types of habitat. 

231. Asian Brown Flycatcher 
Muscicapa dauurica Pallas 

Uncommon. Probably a seasonal local migrant. 
Frequently encountered during winter in well-wooded 
tracts of the Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected two males 
and one female from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933a). 

232. Brown-breasted Flycatcher 
Muscicapa muttui (Layard) 

Rare. Probably a straggler. A total of eight 
sightings, all from teak mixed bamboo forest, during the 
study period. Ali and Whistler (1933a) did not record 
this species from Utnoor. 

233. Red-throated Flycatcher 
Ficedula parva (Bechstein) 

Uncommon. Probably a seasonal local migrant. 
Frequently encountered during winter in well-wooded 
tracts of the Sanctuary. 

234. Ultramarine Flycatcher 
Ficedula superciliaris Jerdon 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Frequently 
encountered in all types of forest within the Sanctuary. 



235. Tickell’s Blue-flycatcher 
Cyornis tickelliae Blyth 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects well-wooded 
forested tracts with bamboo and good undergrowth. Ali 
and Whistler (1933a) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very common and 
collected one male and two females from Birsaipet. 

236. Verditer Flycatcher 
Eumyias thalassina (Swainson) 

Common. Winter migrant. Frequently seen along 
well-wooded forested tracts with good undergrowth. Ali 
and Whistler (1933a) did not record this species from 
Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) collected a male from 
Birsaipet. 

237. Grey-headed Flycatcher 
Culicicapa ceylonensis (Swainson) 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Regularly 
sighted in well-wooded forested tracts with good 
undergrowth. Ali and Whistler (1933a) did not record 
this species from Utnoor. 

238. White-browed Fantail-flycatcher 
Rhipidura aureola Lesson 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. 
Regularly met with in patches of teak mixed 
miscellaneous, teak mixed bamboo and teak plantation. 
Salim Ali collected a female from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1933a). Majumdar (1984) reported it to be 
rather uncommon and collected a male and two females 
from Birsaipet. 

239. White-throated Fantail-flycatcher 
Rhipidura albicollis (Vieillot) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Affects all types 
of forest patches within the Sanctuary. Salim Ali 
collected a male from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933a). 

240. Asian Paradise-flycatcher 
Terpsiphone paradisi (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 
throughout the Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected a pair of 
specimens from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933a). 
Majumdar ( 1 984) found it to be common and collected 
a male and two females from Birsaipet. 

241. Black-naped Monarch-Bycatcher 
Hypothymis azurea (Boddaert) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Frequently met with 
in well-wooded patches with good bamboo and 
undergrowth during winter season. Salim Ali 
collected an adult male specimen from Utnoor (Ali and 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



19 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Whistler 1933a). Majumdar (1984) collected a female 
specimen from Itikyal and two male specimens from 
Birsaipet. 

242. Streaked Fantail-warbler 
Cisticola juncidis (Rafinesque) 

Common. Resident breeder. More commonly 
found along cultivated and fallow fields and open 
scrub in the Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected two 
male specimens from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1 933b). 

243. Franklin’s Prinia 
Prinia hodgsonii Blyth 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen frequently 
throughout the Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected 
a male specimen from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 
1933b). 

244. Rufous-fronted Prinia 
Prinia buchanani Blyth 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. 
Frequently met with in small groups hopping on forest 
floor near Birsaipet, Utnoor, Kadam and Kalleda. Ali 
and Whistler (1933b) did not record this species from 
Utnoor. 

245. Plain Prinia Prinia inornata Sykes 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects cultivation 
and open scrub in nearby villages. 

246. Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis Sykes 
Common. Resident breeder. Frequently met with 

in all types of forest especially near streams, cultivated 
fields and open scrub. Salim Ali collected a female 
specimen from near Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933b). 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be fairly common and 
collected a female specimen from Kadam and two male 
specimens from Birsaipet. 

247. Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica Jerdon 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects well-wooded 
and open scrub areas with good undergrowth. Salim Ali 
collected a female (?) specimen from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1933b). 

248. Common Tailorbird 
Orthotomus sutorius (Pennant) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 
throughout the Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933b) 
reported it to be fairly common near Nirmal. Majumdar 
(1984) reported it to be fairly common and collected 
two males and four females from Itikyal, a pair from 
Birsaipet, and a male from Kadam. 

2 0 



249. Bristled Grass-warbler 
Chaetornis striatus (Jerdon) 

Rare. Once sighted in November 1997 near 
Kadam Reservoir. 

250. Indian Great Reed Warbler 
Acrocephalus stentoreus (Hemprich & Ehrenberg) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Infrequently met with 
near large waterbodies among reeds. 

251. Blyth’s Reed-warbler 
Acrocephalus dumetorum Blyth 

Common. Winter migrant. Frequently met with 
throughout the Sanctuary near large waterbodies with 
reeds. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be rather 
uncommon and collected a pair of specimens from 
Itikyal, and three males and a female from Kadam. 

252. Booted Warbler 
Hippolais caligata (Lichtenstein) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Infrequently seen in 
open scrub and teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
throughout the Sanctuary. 

253. Common Lesser Whitethroat 
Sylvia curruca (Linne) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Frequently seen in 
open scrub throughout the Sanctuary. Majumdar (1984) 
reported it to be rather uncommon and collected a male 
and two females from Itikyal, and a female from Kadam. 

254. Tickell’s Warbler 
Phylloscopus affinis (Tickell) 

Rare. One record from Rampur in January 1998. 

255. Common Chiffchaff 
Phylloscopus collybita (Vieillot) 

Common. Winter migrant. Frequently seen with 
in shrubs and undergrowth throughout the Sanctuary, 
up to last week of March. 

256. Greenish Leaf-warbler 
Phylloscopus trochiloides (Sundevall) 

Uncommon. Infrequently seen in all types of forest 
patches within the Sanctuary. 

257. Oriental Magpie-robin 
Copsychus saularis (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary. Seasonal fluctuation in their numbers, 
suggests local movements. Salim Ali reported sighting 
of a pair on March 30, 1932 near Nirmal (Ali and 
Whistler 1 933a). Majumdar ( 1 984) reported it to be very 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



common and collected three pairs from Itikyal, a male 
each from Kadam and Birsaipet. 

258. White-rumped Shama 
Copsychus malabaricus (Scopoli) 

Rare. A total of six sightings throughout the study 
period. 

259. Black Redstart 
Phoenicurus ochruros (Gmelin) 

Rare. A total of 1 5 sightings during the study 
period. Ali and Whistler (1933a) recorded this species 
from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be rather 
uncommon and collected three males and a female from 
Itikyal, and a female from Birsaipet. 

260. Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata (Linne) 
Common. Winter migrant. Frequently seen in open 

scrub, fallow fields and teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
patches. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be fairly 
common and collected a male from Kadam. 

261 Pied Bushchat Saxicola caprata (Linne) 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Regularly 
seen throughout the Sanctuary with numbers increasing 
during winter with the influx of the northern, migrant 
race S.c. bicolor. Breeding recorded in April. Salim Ali 
collected a male from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933a). 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be rather common and 
collected two females from Itikyal and a male from 
Birsaipet. 

262. Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicata (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen 
throughout the Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected a male 
and a female of this species from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1933a). Majumdar (1984) reported it to be 
exceedingly common and collected ten male and eight 
female specimens from Itikyal, and a male from Kadam. 

263. Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius (Linne) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Frequently seen along 
open scrub and teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
interspersed with hillocks. Salim Ali collected a male 
from Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933a). 

264. Orange-headed Thrush 
Zoo th era citrina (Latham) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen in 
teak mixed miscellaneous forest, teak mixed bamboo 
forest and teak plantation. Copulating pairs were 
observed during June 1998. Salim Ali collected a pair of 
specimens from areas adjoining Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 



1933a). Majumdar (1984) reported it to be not common 
and collected a pair from Birsaipet. 

265. Eurasian Blackbird Tardus merula Linne 

Uncommon. Probably a seasonal local migrant. 
Frequently met with in open scrub, nearby cultivated 
and fallow fields, and teak mixed miscellaneous forest. 

266. Great Tit Par us major Linne 

Common. Resident breeder. Regularly seen 
affecting well-wooded tracts of the Sanctuary, more 
commonly in the vicinity of Pembi and Itikyal areas. Ali 
and Whistler ( 1 933a) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar ( 1 984) found it to be common and collected 
six males and five females from Itikyal, and a male from 
Birsaipet. 

267. Black-lured Yellow Tit 
Par us xanthogenys Vigors 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Infrequently seen 
in well-wooded areas of the Sanctuary preferring hilly 
tracts. Salim Ali collected a specimen (unsexed) from 
Utnoor (Ali and Whistler 1933a). 

268. Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch 
Sitta castanea Lesson 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. 
Frequently seen in teak plantation patches, in a mango 
orchard (near Kadam) and forest nursery (Tadlapet and 
Kadam). 

269. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 
Sitta frontalis Swainson 

Rare. Probably a resident breeder. Met with twice, 
near Rampur and Alinagar, during November 1997 and 
January 1998. 

270. Spotted Creeper Salpornis spilonotus (Franklin) 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. 
Infrequently seen in teak mixed miscellaneous forest 
and teak plantation patches near Alinagar, Donga- pally, 
Rampur, Udhumpur, Dosthnagar, Kalleda, Indhanpaily, 
Birsaipet and Itikyal areas. Ali and Whistler (1933a) 
did not come across this species at Utnoor. Majumdar 
(1984) reported it for the first time from Adilabad district 
and collected two females from Kotpally near the border 
of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Recently, this 
species was reported from Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in 
May 1997 (Pittie 1997). 

27 1 . Oriental Tree Pipit Anthus hodgsoni Richmond 

Rare. Twice sighted in small flocks (4 and 9 birds) 
in January 1998 and February 1999 near Birsaipet and 



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21 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Rampur areas. Majumdar ( 1 984) reported it to be rather 
uncommon and collected a male specimen from 
Birsaipet. 

272. Paddyfield Pipit 
Anthus rufulus Vieillot 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen in 
open scrub, cultivated and fallow fields within the 
Sanctuary. 

273. Forest Wagtail 
Dendronanthus indicus (Gmelin) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Infrequently seen in 
teak mixed miscellaneous forest and teak plantation 
patches. 

274. Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava Linne 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Two subspecies, 

M.f. thunbergi (grey-headed race) and the less common 
M.f. beema (blue-headed race) recorded near water 
edges throughout the Sanctuary. 

275. Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola Pallas 
Common. Winter migrant. Seen in small flocks near 

water edges throughout the Sanctuary. 

276. Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea Tunstall 
Uncommon. Winter migrant. Infrequently met with 

near stream beds and water edges throughout the 
Sanctuary. Salim Ali collected one female from Utnoor 
(Ali and Whistler 1933c). 

277. White Wagtail Motacilla alba Linne 

Common. Winter migrant. Seen along edges of 
waterbodies, stream beds, and cultivated and fallow 
fields. Majumdar (1984) found it to be common, and 
collected a female from Birsaipet. 

278. Large Pied Wagtail 
Motacilla maderaspatensis Gmelin 

Common. Resident breeder. Affects open scrub, 
cultivated and fallow fields, and nearby village enclosures 
throughout the Sanctuary. Nests were observed during 
March to April and were located near waterbodies, holes 
in the Kadam Dam, bridges and also in wells. Majumdar 
(1984) found it to be common and collected a male 
specimen from Itikyal. 

279. Thick-billed Flowerpecker 
Dicaeum agile (Tickell) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933c) recorded it from 
Utnoor. 



2 2 



280. Tickell’s Flowerpecker 
Dicaeum erythrorhynchos (Latham) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary. Ali and Whistler (1933c) reported it as not 
common from areas adjoining Utnoor. 

281. Purple-rumped Sunbird 
Nectarinia zeylonica (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary, but sightings were fewer in thick teak mixed 
bamboo forest. Salim Ali reports a sighting on October 
15, 1925 from Nirmal (Ali and Whistler 1933c). 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be quite common and 
collected a female specimen from Kadam. 

282. Purple Sunbird Nectarinia asiatica (Latham) 
Common. Resident breeder. Affects teak mixed 

miscellaneous forest, teak plantation patches, nurseries, 
orchards, cultivated and fallow fields, and also near 
human habitations. Majumdar (1984) reported it to be 
very common and collected a pair of specimens from 
Itikyal. 

283. Little Spiderhunter 
Arachnothera longirostra (Latham) 

Uncommon. Probably a resident breeder. Flocks 
of 3 to 8 individuals regularly seen in mixed feeding flocks 
with sunbirds, white-eyes and flycatchers near Alinagar 
and Rampur areas especially along the core area 
boundary. 

284. Oriental White-eye 
Zosterops palpebrosus (Temminck) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen 
throughout the Sanctuary, affecting teak mixed 
miscellaneous forest, teak plantation patches, nurseries 
and orchards. Ali and Whistler (1933c) recorded this 
species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) reported it to 
be rather uncommon and collected two male specimens 
from Kadam. 

285. House Sparrow Passer domesticus (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Ubiquitous in the 

Sanctuary, more common near human habitations. 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very common and 
collected a female specimen from Kadam. 

286. Yellow-throated Sparrow 
Petronia xantltocollis (Burton) 

Uncommon. Resident breeder. Infrequently seen 
near cultivated tracts within the Sanctuary. Salim Ali 
collected a male specimen from areas adjoining Utnoor 
(Ali and Whistler 1933c). Majumdar (1984) reported it 



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BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



to be very common and collected 19 males and 12 
females from Itikyal, and a male and two females from 
Birsaipet. 

287. Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Affects all forest 

types throughout the Sanctuary, being more common 
near cultivated fields, human habitations and stream 
beds. Practice nests were found deep inside the teak 
mixed bamboo forests too. Salim Ali collected one male 
fromUtnoor(Ali and Whistler 1933c). Majumdar(1984) 
reports it to be not common, and collected 1 8 males and 
14 females from Kadam. 

288. Streaked Weaver Ploceus manyar (Horsfield) 
Uncommon. Resident breeder. Regularly seen 

along the well-wooded tracts of the Sanctuary, especially 
in the vicinity of Kadam Reservoir. 

289. Red Munia Amandava amandava (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Frequently seen along 
the cultivated tracts of the Sanctuary, especially between 
Rampur and Utnoor. Salim Ali collected a male, a female 
and two immature specimens from Utnoor (Ali and 
Whistler 1 933c). Majumdar ( 1 984) reports it to be quite 
common and collected a female from Kadam. 

290. White-throated Munia 
Lonchura malabarica (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary near cultivated tracts and open scrub. Ali 
and Whistler (1933c) recorded this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very common and 
collected two females from Itikyal and a pair from 
Kadam. 

291 . White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 
Sanctuary near cultivated tracts. 

292. Spotted Munia Lonchura punctulata (Linne) 
Common. Resident breeder. Seen throughout the 

Sanctuary, affecting open scrub, teak mixed 
miscellaneous forest and cultivated patches. Ali and 
Whistler ( 1 933c) did not record this species from Utnoor. 
Majumdar (1984) reported it to be very common, and 
collected two males and four females from Itikyal and 
a pair from Kadam. 

293. Black-headed Munia 
Lonchura malacca (Linne) 

Common. Resident breeder. Seen restricted to 
paddies and other cultivated tracts within the Sanctuary. 



294. Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erylhrinus 
(Pallas) 

Uncommon. Winter migrant. Seen a few times in 
teak mixed miscellaneous forest patches near Rampur, 
Janaram and Indhanpally. Ali and Whistler ( 1 933c) did 
not record this species from Utnoor. Majumdar (1984) 
reported it as rather uncommon, and collected a male 
and four females from Itikyal. 

Ali and Whistler ( 1 933a, b, c; 1 934a, b) recorded 
about 1 1 1 species from Utnoor, and 1 6 species that were 
reported later or during the present survey as 
conspicuously absent here (Table 2). Majumdar ( 1 984) 
reported a total of 95 species from Birsaipet, Kadam 
and Itikyal. A total of nine species that were recorded 
earlier by Ali (1933-34) and Majumdar (1984) but not 
during the present survey are Darter Anhinga 
melanogaster (Pennant), Little Green Heron Butorides 
striatus (Linne), Pintail Snipe Gallinago stemira 
(Bonaparte), Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Linne, 
Stork-billed Kingfisher Halcyon capensis (Linne), 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica (Linne), Desert Wheatear 
Oenanthe deserti (Temminck) between Utnoor and 
Nirmal, Green Munia Amandava formosa 
(Latham) and Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps 
Brandt. 

CONCLUSIONS 

The secure and dense teak mixed forest, teak 
mixed bamboo forest and teak plantations interspersed 
with miscellaneous species provide good habitat for rich 
avifaunal diversity in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary. The bird 
diversity at Kawal represents 90% of the families and 
57% of the species reported from Andhra Pradesh 
(Taher and Pittie 1989, 1994). The Sanctuary is 
contiguous with a vast tract of forest between the 
Godavari river basin in the south, the Wardha river basin 
in the north and Indravathi river basin in the northeast 
to east. Sighting of rarer bird species (e.g. Dryocopus 
javensis, Chrysocolaptes festivus, Salpornis 
spilonotus , Arachnothera longirostra ) indicates that 
regular thorough surveys will yield interesting 
information on distribution patterns of some species that 
were either not reported earlier from this region or are 
sparsely distributed through central India. Although 
reported earlier from nearby areas, both the Forest Owlet 
Heteroglaux blewitti and Jerdon’s Courser Rhinoptilus 
bitorquatus were not sighted during the present survey, 
or in the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary (Srinivasulu 
under prep.) further downstream the Godavari river. 
The habitat at Kawal is increasingly coming under biotic 
pressure due to the escalating human population in and 
around the Sanctuary. Unprecedented changes in the 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



23 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Table 2: List of species not recorded by Ali (1933-34) but seen later or during the present survey 



Order 


Family 


Scientific Name 


Common Name 


Entry No.* 


Galliformes 


Phasianidae 


Francolinus pondicerianus 


Grey Francolin 


71 


Charadriiformes 


Charadriidae 


Pluvialis fulva 


Pacific Golden-plover 


97 




Recurvirostridae 


Himantopus himantopus 


Black-winged Stilt 


111 


Strigiformes 


Strigidae 


Otus bakkamoena 


Collared Scops-owl 


143 


Passeriformes 


Laniidae 


Lanius excubitor 


Southern Grey Shrike 


190 




Dicruridae 


Dicrurus paradiseus 


Racket-tailed Drongo 


200 




Campephagidae 


Pericrocotus erythropygius 


White-bellied Minivet 


217 




Pycnonotidae 


Pycnonotus jocosus 


Red-whiskered Bulbul 


221 




Muscicapidae 


Pellorneum ruficeps 


Spotted Babbler 


224 






Turdoides malcolmi 


Large Grey Babbler 


228 






Muscicapa muttui 


Brown-breasted Flycatcher 


232 






Eumyias thalassina 


Verditer Flycatcher 


236 






Culicicapa ceylonensis 


Grey-headed Flycatcher 


237 






Prinia buchanani 


Rufous-fronted Prinia 


244 




Estrildidae 


Lonchura punctulata 


Spotted Munia 


292 




Fringillidae 


Carpodacus erythrinus 


Common Rosefinch 


294 



‘Order of appearance same as in the annotated checklist 



habitat due to anthropogenic activities such as forest 
clearing for agriculture will affect the avifaunal diversity 
considerably, as has been observed elsewhere in Andhra 
Pradesh (Vasudeva Rao et al. 1 997). 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

This work is an offshoot of my doctoral project 
carried out under the guidance of Dr. V. Nagulu, of 
Osmania University, whom 1 thank immensely. Prof. 
J.V. Ramana Rao encouraged me throughout. Financial 
support by the Council for Scientific and Industrial 
Research, New Delhi is acknowledged. I thank the Head, 
Department of Zoology, Osmania University, 
Hyderabad, Shri T. Ramakrishna, IFS [Chief Wildlife 

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Ali, S. & H. Whistler (193 3a): The Hyderabad State Ornithological 
Survey. Part 1 J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 36(2): 356-390. 

Ali, S. & H. Whistler ( 1 933b): The Hyderabad State Ornithological 
Survey. Part 2. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 36(3): 707-725. 

Ali, S. & H. Whistler (1933c): The Hyderabad State Ornithological 
Survey. Part 3. J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 36(4): 898-919. 

Ali, S. & H. Whistler (1934a): The Hyderabad State Ornithological 
Survey. Part 4. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 37(1): 124-142. 

Ali, S. & H. Whistler (1934b): The Hyderabad State Ornithological 
Survey Part 5. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 37(2): 425-454. 

Ali, S. (1951): Discovery of the so-named ‘Malabar’ Black 
Woodpecker Dryocopus javensis hodgsonii (Jerdon) in Bastar 
(East Madhya Pradesh). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc 49(4): 
787-788. 

Ali, S. (1996): The Book of Indian Birds. 12th Edn. Bombay Natural 



Warden] and Shri A.V. Joseph, IFS [Conservator of 
Forests (Wildlife Management)] of Andhra Pradesh 
Forest Department, for permission. I also thank the 
Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife Management - 
Janaram Division) and other staff, especially G. 
Ravinder (Forest Range Officer - Wildlife) and 
Linganna, at Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, without whose 
help this study might have not been possible. I am 
profoundly thankful to Mr. Aasheesh Pittie for his 
valuable comments on the first draft of the manuscript; 
the referee for improving the paper; Dr. V. Vasudeva 
Rao who accompanied me during many of the surveys; 
Dr. V. Santharam for information on the distribution of 
woodpeckers; my wife, Ms. Bhargavi for help in data 
compilation. 

3 N C E S 

History Society, Bombay. 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1983): A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the 
Indian Subcontinent. Bombay Natural History Society, 
Bombay. 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1987): Handbook of Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Compact Edition. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 
Bharos, A.M.K. (1992): Occurrence ofthe Indian Black Woodpecker 
Dryocopus javensis (Horsfield). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 89(2): 
255. 

Champion, H.G. & S.K. Seth (1968): A Revised Survey of Forest 
Types of India. Govt, of India, New Delhi. 

Gaston, A.J. (1973): Methods for estimating bird populations. 

J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 72(2): 272-281. 

Majumdar, N. (1984): On acollection ofbirds from Adilabad district, 
Andhra Pradesh. Rec. zool. Surv. Ind., Misc. Pub. Occ. Paper 



2 4 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



No. 65. 63 pp. 

Manakadan, Ranjit & Aasheesh Pittie(2001): Standardised common 
and scientific names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. 
Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. Buceros 6(1): 1-37. 
Pittie, A. (1997): Birding notes. Pitta 74: 4. 

Ripley, S.D. (1982): A Synopsis of Birds of India and Pakistan. 

Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, pp. 652 
Ripley, S.D., B.M. Beehler& K.S.R. Krishna Raju (1987): Birds of 
Vishakapatnam Ghats, Andhra Pradesh. J. Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc. 84(3): 540-559. 

Srinivasulu, C. (under prep ): Avifauna of Eturnagaram Wildlife 
Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh. 



Srinivasulu, C., V. Vasudeva Rao, G. Ravinder & V. Nagulu (2001 ): 
New site record of Indian great black woodpecker Dryocopus 
javensis (Horsfield) from Andhra Pradesh. J. Bombay nat. Hist 
Soc. 98(2): 280-281. 

Taher, S.A. & A. Pittie (1989): A Checklist of Birds of Andhra 
Pradesh. Published by Authors, Hyderabad. 39 pp. 

Taher, S.A. & A. Pittie ( 1994): Additions to “A Checklist of Birds 
of Andhra Pradesh.” Maynra 11: 1-5. 

Vasudeva Rao, V., V. Nagulu, M. Anjaneyulu, Bhargavi Srinivasulu, 
C. Srinivasulu & J. V. Ramana Rao ( 1 997): Status of avifauna of 
Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Andhra Pradesh. India. Pavo 35(1 
& 2): 85-100. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



25 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



26-28 



THE FIRST RECORDINGS OF CALLS OF THE JERDON’S COURSER 
RHINOPTIL US BITORQUATUS (BLYTH), FAMILY GLAREOLIDAE 1 

Panchapak.es an Jeganathan 2 and Simon R. Wotton ’ 

'Accepted December, 2002 

2 Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, S.B. Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. 

Email: pnagej@rediffmail.com 

3 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SGI 9 2DL, UK. 

Email: simon.wotton@rspb.org.uk 

The call of the Critically Endangered Jerdon’s Courser ( Rhinoptilus bitorquatus ) was unknown until now. 
The short disyllabic call attributed to the Jerdon’s Courser was recorded and identified within the 
Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary during dawn and dusk. Details of the calling period, duration of the 
call and spectrogram are given. 

Key words: Jerdon’s Courser, Rhinoptilus bitorquatus , call recording, call description, spectrogram 



INTRODUCTION 

Jerdon’s Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus 
(Charadriiformes: Glareolidae) is a nocturnal cursorial 
bird that has been categorized as Critically Endangered 
on the IUCN Red List (Hilton-Taylor 2000), because it 
is believed to have a small and declining population. It 
was thought to be extinct for more than 80 years until 
its rediscovery in 1986 (Bhushan 1986). Since then, it 
has been seen in only a few restricted areas of the 
scrub jungle in Andhra Pradesh, India (BirdLife 
International 2001). Jerdon’s Coursers are difficult to 
see because of their nocturnal habits, and this has 
hampered efforts to survey the population size and 
distribution of the species. Many areas in and around 
the Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary have 
habitats that are superficially similar to places where 
Jerdon’s Coursers are known to occur. A new method 
has been developed for detecting their presence by 
placing tracking strips upon which the birds leave their 
distinctive footprints (Jeganathan etal. 2002). Surveys 
using this method have recently detected the species in 
some new areas, but more rapid surveys might be 
possible if the bird’s calls could be recognized. The only 
published reports on the calls of the Jerdon’s Courser 
are “a plaintive cry” (Ali and Ripley 1983), “very sad; 
a single note and very soft” (Bhushan 1990), “not very 
vocal; plaintive cry: he-he-he-he-he” (Kazmierczak and 
van Perlo 2000) and “kwick- kweek- kwick- kweek- 
kweek- kweek- kweek”, as described by some bird 
trappers (Samant and Elangovan 1997). The latter 
description, however, was thought to be more likely that 
of the Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus (Samant 
and Elangovan 1 997). This paper describes a successful 
effort at identifying and recording calls of the Jerdon’s 
Courser. 



METHODS 

Since the Jerdon’s Courser is nocturnal, efforts 
were made to listen for, and record, its calls during 
dawn and dusk in the places where it was known 
to occur in the Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary, 
near Reddipalle, Cuddapah district, Andhra Pradesh, 
India (Jeganathan et al. 2002). Calls were monitored 
from about sunset to about 80 minutes after sunset, 
and from about 80 minutes before sunrise up to 
sunrise. 

To discriminate the Jerdon’s Courser calls from 
those of the other birds in the Sanctuary, it was 
necessary to eliminate the calls of other species. 
Other crepuscular and nocturnal species that are 
now known to occur within the Sri Lankamaleswara 
Wildlife Sanctuary are Red-wattled Lapwing Vanellus 
indicus. Stone-curlew, Eurasian Eagle-owl Bubo bubo , 
Collared Scops-owl Otus bakkamoena. Spotted Owlet 
Athene brama, Indian Jungle Nightjar Caprimulgus 
indicus , Jerdon’s Nightjar Caprimulgus atripennis, 
Common Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus and 
Franklin’s Nightjar Caprimulgus affinis. Since the 
beginning of the study, the calls of these species 
have been recorded and catalogued along with the calls 
of other species occurring in the Sanctuary, which 
could possibly be confused with that of the Jerdon’s 
Courser. 

The recording equipment used was a Marantz 
PMD222 tape recorder with an Audio Technica 
AT815 unidirectional microphone, with no sound 
filters. Searches, listening and recording were carried 
out mainly during clear still nights. Recordings of 
calls were analyzed using the Canary 1.2.4 sound 
analysis package (Charif et al. 1993) on a Power 
Macintosh. 



FIRST RECORDINGS OF CALLS OF THE JERDON'S COURSER 



RESULTS 

A call of the type that was later attributed to the 
Jerdon’s Courser was heard (by PJ) on February 17, 
200 1 , within the core area for Jerdon’s Courser sightings 
in the Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary. A 
Jerdon’s Courser was sighted in the direction of the call 
a few seconds after it was heard. Unfortunately, it was 
not possible to get a recording of this call. Identical calls 
were heard again on June 19, October 22 and October 
25, 2001 , but no birds were seen and no recordings were 
obtained. 

The first recording of the call was obtained on 
November 1 2, 200 1 at 1 8 1 2 hrs local time and again on 
November 13, 2001, at 1820 hrs, although the calling 
bird was not seen on either occasion. On November 
14, 2001 the call was heard again twice, at 1816 hrs 
and a Jerdon’s Courser was seen briefly (by SW) where 
the call was heard from. The bird flew off when 
illuminated by a spotlight and called twice in flight. Final 
confirmation that the call was made by a Jerdon’s 
Courser was obtained on May 1 7, 2002 at 1 8 1 8 hrs (by 
PJ), when a Jerdon’s Courser was observed while it 
was calling, before dusk in ample sunlight. The distance 
between the observer and the bird was not more than 
50 m in all of these instances. 

Description of the call: The short disyllabic call 
consists of a high-pitched first syllable, and rapidly 
descending second syllable, which can be rendered as 
either “kwik-koo ... kwik-koo ... kwik-koo ... kwik- 
koo...” or “yak-wak ... yak-wak ... yak-wak ... yak- 
wak...”. We refer to each pair of syllables as a call. 
Birds have been heard to give between 2 and 16 calls 
in a sequence at a rate of about one call per second. 
On one occasion, the first syllable of the single call was 
heard several times and then the bird spontaneously 
called, “kwik...kwik...kwik...kwik...kwik... kwik- 
koo.. .kwik-koo...”. 

The calling period is quite brief, starting 45-50 
minutes after sunset and continuing for a few minutes 
to about 20 minutes. Calls were often heard from more 
than one place. At the most, they were heard from three 
different places up to about 200 m apart within a period 
of a few minutes. The possibility of the same bird moving 
and calling in such a case was unlikely, because of the 
pattern of calling in some instances. It has been 
estimated that the call can be heard from a distance of 
200 to 250 m. It appears that the birds call mainly at 
dusk, but the frequency of calling is likely to depend 
upon the time of year and the weather. 

Figure 1 shows a spectrogram of a single Jerdon’s 
Courser call, consisting of two repeated syllables, each 
separated by an interval of 60 milliseconds (mS). The 



majority of the energy within the Jerdon’s Courser call 
occurs between 1 and 4 kHz, with the syllables showing 
three distinct bands throughout the frequency range. In 
effect, there are three notes at three different 
frequencies (1 kHz, 2 kHz, 3.5 kHz), which make up 
each syllable. The calls are repeated in a series with 
gaps of about 500 mS between the end of one call and 
the beginning of the next (Fig. 2). 

DISCUSSION 

The call recorded by us does not resemble closely 
any of the previous verbal descriptions. These may refer 
to calls not detected by us so far, or the previous 
identifications may have been mistaken. The identified 
call of the Jerdon’s Courser may be of value as it could 




Fig. 1 : Spectrogram (time v. frequency) of a complete Jerdon's 
Courser call showing 2 syllables separated by an interval. 
The spectrogram was produced by Canary 1.2.4, grid 
resolutions 5.8 ms, 10.77 Hz. [Y-axis=kHz, X-axis=S], 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



27 



FIRST RECORDINGS OF CALLS OF THE JERDON'S COURSER 



6 5- 
6 0- 

5.5- 
5 0- 

4.5- 




Fig 2: Spectrogram of a series of six Jerdon’s Courser calls. The spectrogram was produced by 
Canary 1.2.4, grid resolutions 5.8 ms, 10.77 Hz. [Y-axis=kHz, X-axis=S], 



help to find the bird in new areas and estimate its 
population size. It appears that Jerdon’s Coursers call 
mainly at dusk and it may be possible to survey their 
distribution by listening for the calls. However, initial 
observations indicate that the short period during which 
the birds call and the variation among evenings in 
whether they call at all would make it difficult to survey 
large areas. 

Experiments are in progress using standard 
playback methods (e.g. Mosher et al. 1990; Haug and 
Diduik 1 993) to determine whether tape playback could 
be used to elicit calls over a longer period. It is hoped to 
determine the effects of time of the year, time of day 
and weather on the bird’s response to playback. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The research project was funded by the Darwin 
Initiative and carried out by the Bombay Natural History 
Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and 
University of Reading. We are grateful to the Andhra 
Pradesh Forest Department for giving permission to 
work in the Sri Lankamaleswara Wildlife Sanctuary. We 
thank N. Rahim for help with the fieldwork. Nigel 
Butcher and Gillian Gilbert provided advice and 
comments. Chris Bowden, Rhys Green, Ken Norris, 
Debbie Pain and Asad R. Rahmani are fellow members 
of the Jerdon’s Courser project team, and provided 
advice and comments. 



REFERENCES 



Ali S. & S.D. Ripley (1983): Handbook of the Birds of India and 
Pakistan together with those of Bangladesh. Nepal, Bhutan 
and Sri Lanka. Oxford University Press, Bombay. 737 pp. 

Bhushan, B. (1986): Rediscovery of the Jerdon’s Courser Cursorius 
bitorquatus. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 83: 1-14. 

Bhushan, B. (1990): Jerdon’s Courser rediscovery and survey. In: 
Status and Ecology of the Lesser and Bengal Floricans, 
Chapter XII, pp. 127-134. ENDSP Project. Bombay Natural 
History Society, Bombay. 

Birdlife International (2001): Threatened Birds of Asia: The 
BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, 
Cambridge, UK. pp. 1454-1457. 

Charif, R.A., S. Mitchell & C.W. Clark (1993): Canary User’s 
Manual. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, N.Y. 
pp. 229. 

Haug, E.A. & A.B. Didiuk (1993): Use of recorded calls to detect 
burrowing owls. J. Field Ornithol. 64(2): 188-194. 



Hilton-Taylor, C. (compiler) (2000): IUCN Red List of 
Threatened Species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and 
Cambridge, UK. 

Jeganathan, P., R.E. Green, C.G.R. Bowden, K. Norris, D. Pain & 
A.R. Rahmani (2002): Use of tracking strips and automatic 
cameras for detecting critically endangered Jerdon’s Coursers 
Rhinoptilus bitorquatus in scrub jungle in Andhra Pradesh. 
Oryx 36(2) : 182-188. 

Kazmierczak, K. & B. van Perlo (2000): A Field Guide to Birds of 
the Indian Subcontinent. Om Book Service, New Delhi. 

Mosher, J.A., M.R. Fuller & M. Kopeny (1990): Surveying 
woodland raptors by broadcast of conspecific vocalizations. 
J. Field Ornithol. 61(4): 453-461 . 

Samant, J.S. & V. Elangovan (1997): Avifauna of the Eastern Ghats 
with special reference to the Jerdon’s Courser Cursorius 
bitorquatus. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. 
Unpublished report. 



2 8 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



29-63 



THE AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 
OF SOUTHERN INDIA 1 

William A. Noble 2 

'Accepted March 2002 

2 61 578 Rockway Terrace, Bend, Oregon, 97702-2306, USA 

There has been much debate as to why grassy landscapes have persisted in portions of the Nilgiris above 
1,200 m. While there is no doubt that firing (especially by the tribal Todas) led to grassland formation and 
maintenance, we can now conclude with some confidence that climatic changes during the Pleistocene also 
contributed to the existence of grasslands over long periods. This is confirmed by the results of varied 
palynological studies (examination of pollen grains) by Blasco, Gupta, Menon, Thanikaimoni, and Vishnu- 
Mittre in marshy low-lying (= bog) areas within the Upland Nilgiri Island. The most likely, ideal grasslands 
for continued persistence, probably during the Pleistocene and for possibly millions of years earlier (now, 
only suggestive), are the high rainfall grasslands of the far western Nilgiris. The harsh climatic controls in 
these grasslands frequently created environmental conditions in which only grass and not tree species 
could dominate. The appendices to this paper are designed to help us obtain a greater understanding of the 
complexity of environmental, cultural, and especially vegetational factors that have endured in the Nilgiris 
since the Pleistocene ended. 

Altogether, they also demonstrate the uniqueness of the Nilgiri Upland Island. 

Key words: Upland Island, Pleistocene, Vegetation, Complexity, Grassland, High Rainfall Grassland 



Nilgiri Environmental Factors 

The region discussed is located where the Western 
and Eastern Ghats of India converge at their southern 
ends to form the Nilgiri massif. This mountainous block 
that is tilted toward the east, with several peaks rising 
above 2,400 m (8,000 ft), is clearly defined by its 
precipitous western slopes and the Moyar and Bhavani 
rivers which flow in fault strike valleys within the lower 
terrain to the north and south of the block. The Nilgiris 
form the largest charnokitic mass in southern India and, 
interestingly, due to the lighter composition of chamokite, 
are amazing in having far more ancient rock that has 
risen far above the younger rocks of the plains below. 
The main focus in this contribution is upon the grasslands 
which are, or were until contact times when the British 
first started to live in the upper and cooler climate, in 
that portion of the region here referred to as the Upland 
Island lying above 1,200 m. At the start, some 
consideration is given to different possible causes that 
may contribute to the presence of grasslands. According 
to Ranganathan (1938: 523) there is a “wilting effect 
due to plants exposed to the morning sun being unable 
to draw water from the frozen soil” as an explanation 
for why grasses grew together in such stark contrast to 
the nearby sholas (low canopy evergreen forests) of 
the upper Nilgiris. Ranganathan reasoned that micro- 
environments related to the trees within sholas remained 
above freezing point. Because more energy is radiated 
out at night on open grasslands, it is particularly at the 



earth’s surface that temperatures might drop below 
0 °C. Plants needing to transpire more in response to 
rapidly increased heating by insolation after sunrise are 
unable to draw up sufficient moisture due to surface 
freezing, and thus they wilt. There can be no doubt that 
fires followed by grazing have also had an impact, as 
Bor (1938: 608) concluded: “I believe that the shola 
forest is the relic of an evergreen forest climax which 
has been pushed back to its last stronghold by fire and 
grazing. The grassland I consider to be a biotic climax 
rendered stable by fire and grazing and only one more 
proof of the stability of grassland under such condition.” 
Among the complex influences upon vegetation which 
exist in the Nilgiri Upland Island, it seems reasonable to 
draw a parallel with the treeless balds of the 
Appalachians in the United States, as conceptualized 
by Billings and Mark (1957: 140): “The balds are then 
essentially forest margin or ecotone phenomena existing 
near the tolerance limits of the principal forest 
dominants.” It is noteworthy that most upper Nilgiri plants 
are tropical and not temperate in nature, and so we must 
think of plants spreading upwards into stressful limits. 
Quite apart from the shock of widespread morning frost 
and the burning heat of fires, the tolerance limits of upper 
Nilgiri plant species are severely tried by strong, gusty 
wind, sometimes over 110 km per hour, heavy rain, 
drought sometimes prolonged for weeks, exposure to a 
bright tropical sun that can soon burn the human skin, 
and cooling from the enfolding, clinging damp mist (the 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



last two sometimes experienced within 30 minutes). 
Along with the spread of glaciers to lower elevations in 
the Himalaya during the later Pleistocene (De Terra 
and Paterson 1939), some evidence is now forthcoming 
for sufficient climatic change farther south to cause 
grasslands to form and persist. 

Before continuing with vegetative changes during 
and after the Pleistocene, a comment regarding the 
writer’s use of the term grassland is in order. Blasco 
and Lengerke (1989: 59-61) use “common savanna” 
and “high rainfall savanna” instead of grassland, and 
quite correctly so in terms of their view that grasses on 
the Nilgiri Upland Island are typically accompanied by 
a host of herbs and shrubs. While recognizing this fact, 
the writer prefers to use grassland because, historically, 
the British colonials did. They also conceptualized 
grassland by using the term downs, the Nilgiri downs 
reminding them of open grassy tracts in their homeland. 
Secondly, considering the original tropical sabana of 
Cuba, from which the word savanna is derived, the more 
specific use of savanna for a landscape with grasses 
and scattered trees seems appropriate. While 
rhododendron and other tree species scattered on Nilgiri 
grassland form limited savanna areas in that sense, it is 
the overwhelming presence of low-lying grasses over 
larger tracts (sometimes over 90% of the terrain) that 
visually gains the upper hand. Grasses have for long 
formed a significant part of the vegetation in the Nilgiri 
Upland Island lying above 1200 m, and that over 10% 
of the grasses are endemic is suggestive of evolutionary 
processes that have gone on for millions of years 
(Appendix 1). 

Possible Changes over 40,000 Years 

The palynological evidence provided by Vishnu- 
Mittre and Gupta (1972) and Gupta (1971, 1989), 
involving bogs and study of pollen grains from soil profiles 
in a bog at Kakathope on the upper Nilgiris, tentatively 
suggests the past presence of grasslands — in the 
above-mentioned sense — over a long period. However, 
the evidence is tempered by later samplings that indicate 
a lack of tree pollen accumulation, or even the absence 
of tree pollen, in sites 1-4 km from the sholas which 
were investigated. Bera and Gupta (1992: 243) cite 
i. insect pollination and ii. outer fringe plants preventing 
the escape of pollen grains as the main factors preventing 
greater spread of tree pollen. In contrast to a past 
consensus that grasslands resulted from firing by 
humans, we can now subscribe to the idea that 
grasslands have existed far longer, but should be 
cautioned in our thinking by the realization that sholas 
have, in all likelihood, simultaneously existed to a greater 
degree than the pollen record might reveal. A cooler 



and drier climatic regime probably existed from about 
40 to 35,000 years Before the Present (BP), and the 
evidence indicates that there was widespread grassland 
on the upper Nilgiris. Along with dominant grass and 
sedge pollen grains, there was evidence for a variety of 
herbs and shrubs. It was impossible to identify actual 
species from the pollen grains gathered from different 
depths in soil profiles, but plant genera could be identified. 
Herbs of the genera Campanula , Chenopodium, 
Geranium , Justicia and Lilium, shrubs of the genus 
Berberis, and a few sporadic trees of the genera Ilex 
and Rhododendron appear to have spread in from the 
north (Appendix 2). What is even more significant are 
species that did not move down into the Peninsula from 
the north. Thus, the oaks ( Quercus ) and pines ( Pinus ) 
of Meghalaya never managed to spread southward. 

Latitudinal variation and insufficient change in 
climate as a result of glaciation appear to have jointly 
operated to prevent the spread of other temperate plant 
species from the north. The species of genera Berberis, 
Ilex, and Rhododendron that did come are currently 
hardy, quite capable of surviving as lone sentinels on 
grassland. Significantly, pollen grains prove that 
Strobilanthes shrubs were also present. 

Pollen grains from between 35,000 and 1 5,000 BP 
indicate an increase of shrubs and the spread of thickets 
over grassland. Cool and dry climatic conditions probably 
persisted, with a shift toward greater aridity. The summer 
westerly monsoon may have greatly weakened (or not 
have existed?), and did the easterly monsoon become 
stronger (Sukumar et al. 1993: 704-705)? There was a 
decline in the pollen grains of grasses and sedges, while 
those of the Compositae, Dipsacaceae, Leguminosae, 
Malvaceae, and Rosaceae families, and the genus 
Jasminum (or Ligustrum instead?) notably increased. 
Strobilanthes also appears as a dominant group. Pollen 
grains identified with the genus Portulaca were present, 
but no related species survives today. While pollen grains 
of the genera Campanula, Geranium, and Justicia 
declined, those of Chenopodium and Lilium continued 
to be present in about the same quantity. The pollen 
grains of Berberis, Ilex, and Rhododendron are also 
present, with the last declining as time went by. Among 
shrubs, there is some evidence of the genus Sarcococca, 
and a better representation of Lonicera. Sporadic pollen 
grains of the geneva Artemisia and Impatiens were also 
present. Ultimately, there were indications of widespread 
heaths with some scattered trees. The presence of 
Impatiens pollen grains suggests plant ancestry going 
back to Madagascar (Appendix 2). There seems some 
potential of there being grassland over millions of years, 
as the Indian Peninsula Shield drifted northwards within 
the Cretaceous to Tertiary periods (between 85 and 30 



30 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



million years ago), and eventually smashed into the 
northern continental mass of Laurasia. Along with the 
high degree of endemism among Nilgiri grasses, a high 
degree of plant endemism has occurred among the 
genera Impatiens and Strobilanthes (Appendix 3). In 
all of India, it is in the Nilgiris that the greatest 
evolutionary diversity and multiplicity of species has 
occurred in these two genera. 

The climate probably became warmer and more 
humid between 15,000 and 7,000 BP. Was there a 
strengthening of a summer westerly monsoon, eventually 
somewhat akin to that which now occurs, in this period? 
There is some evidence for the summer monsoon 
reaching a peak at about 11,000 BP, and for a 
progressively drier period to 6,000 BP (Sukumar et al. 
1993: 705). The greater presence of tree pollen grains 
in related soil horizons indicates the spread of shola with 
evergreen tree genera Elaeocarpus, Euonymus, and 
Gordonia. The spread of sholas also tends to be 
supported by the marked increase of pollen grains of 
the genus Peperomia, now a common epiphyte in the 
sholas. It seems unlikely, however, because of a strong 
continued presence of grass and sedge pollen grains, 
that the Nilgiri Upland Island was ever covered entirely 
by sholas. 

From about 7,000 BP and continuing into the Post- 
Contact Era, starting in the early 1 820s when the British 
came, a decline in the pollen grains of shola species 
indicates a reduction in the areal extent of sholas and 
an increase in grasslands. There are intervals with a 
marked decline of Peperomia pollen grains, which 
contrast with a marked increase of Impatiens pollen 
grains. While pollen grains of the genus Jasminum (or 
Ligustruml), so abundant in the earlier heaths, are 
conspicuously absent, those of the families Compositae, 
Dipsocaceae, Malvaceae, and the genus Geranium are 
present. In contrast to the earlier heaths, too, there is a 
lack of Berberis, Ilex, and Rhododendron pollen grains. 
Might this be due to fires on open grasslands increasingly 
destroying these genera? Climatic change may, in part 
at least, be responsible for the increasing shift from 
sholas to grasslands. A stage to at least 6000 BP, and 
probably beyond, may be due to increased drying. A 
weakened westerly monsoon may have again been 
established by 6000 BP. About 600 BP, and 
approximately between 1200 and 1400 AD, there 
appears to have been a warmer and moister period than 
that which exists at present (Sukumar etal. 1993: 705). 
It is thus, perhaps, no coincidence that there is an 
abundance of archaeological evidence (partially seen 
by the author during 1994 field work in the area) for 
more people living in the Mysore Ditch, just to the north 
of the Nilgiris, in that period. The possible role of lightning 



strikes or spontaneous combustion during dry seasons 
in starting fires and thereby increasing the areal extent 
of grasslands, leading to an increase of grass pollen 
grains in Nilgiri waterlogged soils, have not been 
investigated. Human hunter-gatherers setting fires for 
millennia might have contributed to shola destruction, 
but there is still no archaeological proof of this. 

The Past 3,000 Years 

A more conservative time span of 3,000 years 
provides us with a still more revealing and possibly more 
accurate glimpse of the past. The pioneering effort of 
Vimala Menon (1966-1967) is most useful because of 
its zone-by-zone analysis of a soil profile in a bog at 
Pykara, west ofOotacamund in the Nilgiris. The profile 
extends to a depth of 1 .7 m and is divided into 1 5 zones. 
From zone 1 at the bottom to zone 15 at the top, the 
percentages of grass pollen grains are: 83, 61, 54, 53, 
60, 49 (the lowest), 55, 53, 59, 78, 83, 79, 85 (the highest), 
80, and 71 . The evidence (count of 2,368 pollen grains) 
thus indicates a dominance by grasses through most of 
the period. The spores of ferns are the next largest group 
(spore count of 340). Although many ferns prefer 
shadowy, cool and moist environments, suggesting shola, 
some thrive in shade provided by the rocks and plants 
of open grassland. We must remember, too, that ferns 
give off many spores, which can profoundly affect the 
rate of their accumulation in a soil profile. Sedges 
(Cyperaceae, pollen count of 159) come next. The 
following families (with pollen counts) are represented: 
Liliaceae ( 1 23), Compositae ( 1 00), Balsaminaceae (96), 
Scrophulariaceae (63), Xyridaceae (62), 
Chenopodiaceae (2 1 ), Gentianaceae ( 1 5), Umbelliferae 
(12), Cruciferae (12), and Caprifoliaceae (II). These 
generally indicate the presence of grassland with herbs 
and shrubs, while pollen grains from trees are 
conspicuously lacking. The occasional pollen grains of 
these families probably represent species living in sholas: 
Araceae, Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Meliaceae, 
Orchidaceae, Thymeleaceae, and Urticaceae. 

Blasco and Thanikaimoni (1974) studied pollen 
grains from profiles in sediments down to 3.8 m at Pykara 
and down to 2. 1 m at Parson’s Valley, south of Pykara. 
They divided the pollen grains examined into four 
separate ecological groups: i. herbaceous (grass mainly, 
but other herbs as well), ii. forest border (forest-grassland 
ecotone), iii. tree /shrub savanna (trees/shrubs growing 
on the grassland), and iv. forest (shola). With one 
exception (decrease of herbaceous pollen grains and 
increase of forest border pollen grains from the 1 .3 to 
1 .9 m depth at Pykara, into the wetter period c. 600 BP), 
the graph profiles of herbaceous pollen grains 
consistently ranged far higher than the graph profiles 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



31 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



for the three other groups. Next came the forest border 
group, then the tree/shrub group, and, lastly, the forest 
group (Appendix 2). The pollen grains of shola species 
in the families Celastraceae, Lauraceae, and Myrtaceae 
were relatively rare, and those of Araliaceae, 
Elaeocarpaceae, Sapotaceae, Symplocaceae, and the 
genus Ilex were also recorded. While the pollen grains 
from both places in general ranged from 65 to 80 percent 
for plants of the open grassland, the pollen grains of 
forest species were at a low of about 5 percent. Thus, 
the overall findings parallel those of Menon (1966-67). 

Unfortunately, Menon (1966-67) and Blasco and 
Thanikaimoni ( 1 974) have no radiocarbon dates for any 
parts of their profiles. However, Blasco and 
Thanikaimoni (1974) used comparable evidence from 
the Palnis to devise a dating system. Interpolating with 
a 1 770 AD date for a sample at about 30 cm below the 
surface and a 1050 BP date for a sample at about 
130 cm below the surface in the same locality, they 
postulate a going back to some 3,000 to 4,000 BP, for 
layers 3 to 4 m below the surface in the Nilgiris and 
Palnis. Considering the evidence covered, we are 
confronted with the possibility of there being extensive 
natural grasslands on the Nilgiri Upland Island for 
thousands of years, and more likely for at least the past 
3000 years. So strong is the cumulative evidence that 
we no longer need to primarily use the annual burning 
of grasslands to explain their presence. There is no 
denying, however, that the annual burning of grasslands 
contributed to their spread. While we have no 
archaeological proof for the burning of grasslands over 
thousands of years, their seeming presence for so long 
now raises the possibility of there being humans on the 
upper Nilgiris far longer than was hitherto proven. 

While a characteristic polished Neolithic pointed 
butt stone implement found in the Mysore Ditch just 
north of the Nilgiri massif may indicate the presence of 
humans there by 1000 BC, there is no such indication 
for the Nilgiri Upland Island. From the evidence yielded 
thus far from prehistoric sites, among which are the 
walled stone circles on the tops of peaks, we have no 
proof of the presence of humans prior to 1 AD (Noble 
1989: 127-130). The most logical choice of a people 
who could have been around for long are the Todas, 
who are a main element making the Nilgiri Upland Island 
distinctive. After watching a Toda gather the roots of 
so-called Toda potatoes ( Ceropegia pusilla Wt.), eating 
some of them myself in 1 994, and realizing the variety 
of other foodstuffs which can be gathered, one 
concludes that Toda ancestors could have been gatherers 
on the Nilgiri Upland Island and outer slopes. However, 
ever since 1 603, when the priest Yacome Finicio wrote 
his account of a visit to the Nilgiris, we know that the 



Todas were buffalo herders from then and into post- 
contact times (Rivers 1906: 721-730). The historic 
record shows that they burned the grasslands each year 
(Appendix 4). Fires set for even 300 years must have 
contributed to the spread of grasslands, to the detriment 
of the sholas. We have no idea as to when the distinctive 
Kota farmers settled on the upper Nilgiris. They are 
artisans who can still make knives and pots, and there is 
some potential for their ancestors being the makers of 
the effigy pots and knives buried at the centre of the 
stone circles. Ancestors of Badaga farmers, a third 
distinctive group on the upper Nilgiris and now far 
outnumbering the other two, probably lived on the upper 
Nilgiris for centuries before the fall of the Vijayanagar 
Empire in 1 565 AD. Badagas continue a strong tradition 
of being ruled from Ummatur in Mysore (later absorbed 
by Karnataka). After the ruler there was overcome by 
Krishnadevaraya around 1510-1512, a Vijayanagar 
representative called Wodeyaraya who lived at 
Konakorai on the upper Nilgiris married the Lingayat 
Muddu Gowri. At nearby Nedugula, there is still an 
ancestral temple dedicated to Muddu Gowri (Francis 
1908: 333-334, Mulley 1997: 5). While the Badagas used 
to annually migrate to hundis (seasonal livestock 
stations) in the western Nilgiris, and typically fired nearby 
grasslands prior to moving back eastward before the 
onset of westerly monsoon rains, the Kotas to a lesser 
degree also seasonally occupied grasslands and fired 
them (Noble 1977). The Forest Department eventually 
prohibited the annual firing and migration into the 
grasslands, and these activities for the most part came 
to an end in the 1 960s. The Department also engaged in 
the planting of trees, and by now black wattle ( Acacia 
mearnsii Willd.), blue gum {Eucalyptus globulus Labill.j 
trees, indigenous to Australia, and Mexican pine ( Pinus 
patula L.) grow over thousands of hectares once 
dominated by grasses. By 1987, eucalyptus alone 
covered about 12,000 ha (Meher-Homji 1987-1988: 159). 
Mexican pines have typically been planted in frost pockets 
where the other two species failed. 

High Rainfall Sholas and Grasslands 

Because the high rainfall sholas and grasslands of 
the far western Nilgiris are the most ideal candidates 
for natural grassland occurrence going far back into the 
Pleistocene, they now receive brief coverage. These 
little known but ecologically distinctive sholas and 
grasslands are, for the most part, located in a zone 
running from a northerly to southerly direction, following 
the western escarpment, and then, for a shorter distance, 
the southerly escarpment. Included are the Pandiar cliffs, 
all the area surrounding Nilgiri Peak, the Mukerti Peak 
area, the three Western Catchments, Bangitapal Rest 



32 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



House and adjacent area, areas next to the cliffs in the 
Nadgani and Sispara areas, and then an area running 
alongside steep southerly slopes to and somewhat 
eastward from the Bison Swamp area. These areas have 
received the highest rainfall in the Indian Peninsula during 
the westerly monsoon. If we consider the 10,867 mm 
(424", or 35.3ft) of rain which fell in Western Catchment 
Three during 1961, the heaviest rainfall of 7 1 3 mm (28") 
ever recorded in a 24 hour period at Western Catchment 
Three, on July 7, 1 958, and the heaviest rainfall of 1 ,283 
mm (50") ever recorded in a 48-hour period at Mukerti 
Ridge Top, on July 12 and 13, 1943 (Lengerke 1977: 
1 74, 1 88; Blasco and Lengerke 1 989: 39), we can grasp 
how unusual these high rainfall areas are. 

So harsh is the environment to humans that Toda 
and Badaga pastoralists made it a regular practice to 
migrate eastwards, away from the high rainfall and 
adjacent areas before the westerly monsoon set in. In 
contrast to the high rainfall and great frequency of 
clouds, mainly in the period of the westerly monsoon 
and during the easterly monsoon as well, there are also 
periods of drought and intense insolation during the year. 

In response to the variable and frequently harsh 
climatic conditions, and associated soils leached by high 
rainfall, grassland typically dominates. While there are 
sholas in protected valleys and depressions, high rainfall 
grasslands sometimes dominate up to both banks of 
streams and over low-lying terrain. Interestingly, a 
description by Rao ( 1 974: 214) reveals how some Nilgiri 
landscapes compare with those in the very high rainfall 
Cherrapunji area of northeastern India: “...the situation 
at Cherrapunji, until recently famed as the wettest place 
on earth, needs special notice. The area looks 
disappointingly bleak and bare of wooded vegetation, 
due to the poor soil cover; all the soil being leached out 
by the heavy rains, leaving behind smooth, bare rocks. 
For vast distances all around, only dwarf grass growth 
is visible. It is only in the comparatively sheltered 
depressions, as at Mamloo and Moswmai, where there 
is a deposit of soil and humus, that there are small islands 
of wooded vegetation, in an otherwise vast sea of 
grassland.” 

High Rainfall Sholas: According to Blasco and 
Lengerke (1989: 54-61), high rainfall sholas are 
composed of a dense growth of trees, often dwarfed, 
forming a shorter canopy up to c. 10 m from the 
ground. 

1 he dominant tree species is often a black plum 
Syzygium calophyllifolium Walp. [trop.]. Other trees, 
all tropical species, are cinnamon ( Cinnamomum 
macrocarpum Hook, and C. perrottetii Meissn.), 
another black plum ( Syzygium densiflorum Wall. ex. 



Wt. & Am.), apple bladder-nut ( Turpinia 
cochinchinensis Merr.), white milk tree ( Isonandra 
perrottetiana DC.), and mock-olive (Elaeocarpus 
recurvatus Corner). The less frequent Nilgiri magnolia 
( Michelia nilagirica Zenk. [trop.]), spindle ( Euonymus 
crenulatus Wall, [temp.]), and cryptocarya 
( Cryptocarya lawsoni Gamb.ftrop.]) trees also grow 
in these sholas. Epiphytes are more common. In addition 
to a variety of orchids, pepper-elder ( Peperomia reflexa 
A. Dietr.) is a very common epiphyte. 

As an evolutionary adaptation to the rigorous 
climatic conditions, two balsams are often epiphytic 
{Impatiens orchioides Bedd. & laticornis Fischer) on 
boulders and trees, whereas one ( neo-barnesii Fischer) 
has become a full-fledged epiphyte on trees. It typically 
grows on branches with moss and pepper-elder, on trees 
sometimes located above 2400 m and close to or down 
the western escarpment. 

High Rainfall Grasslands: The high rainfall grasslands 
have Isachne kunthiana Miq. and Themedct trianda 
Forsk. grasses. Arundinella purpurea Flockst. is the 
commonest grass in some areas. Among the plants most 
frequently growing in these grasslands are common 
anemone ( Anemone rivularis Ham.), balsams 
( Impatiens spp.), creat ( Andrographis lawsoni 
Gamb.), everlasting ( Anaphalis spp.), kurunji 
{Strobi/anthes spp.), Nilgiri privet ( Ligustrum perrottetii 
DC), teasel ( Dipsacus leschenaultii Coult.), wood 
germander ( Teucrium wightii Hook.), stunted black 
plum ( Syzygium spp.) and rhododendron (basically the 
Rhododendron arborewn Sm. of the Himalaya, now 
considered subsp. nilagiricum (Zenk.) Tagg by 
Matthew). The high rainfall grasslands offer the ideal 
habitat for Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius Blyth), 
animals that prefer living on and close to cliffs. The 
grasslands are sometimes still burned over in the dry 
season, despite regulations to the contrary, and it is 
noteworthy that tahrs relish young grasses that sprout 
after firing. Thus, they often tend to congregate in such 
areas. Attempts by the Forest Department to plant trees 
in high rainfall grasslands have typically ended in failure. 
Row upon row of dead young plants now stand out on 
them. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The writer is indebted to Dr. A. N. Henry, former 
Co-Director ofthe Botanical Survey of India, who very 
kindly checked the list of Nilgiri endemics more than 
once for accuracy, additions and deletions. He is also 
indebted to Dr. Tarun Chhabra, dentist in Ootacamund 
and an accepted member of the Toda tribe, for providing 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



33 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



the latest data on Nilgiri balsams and orchids. We are 
thankful to Dr. Chhabra for his rediscovery of some 
rare balsams, for we now have the relief of knowing 
that they survive and are doing well. He is an avid trekker 

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Appendix 1: A Representative List of Nilgiri Grasses above 1,200 m 

Based upon listings in Bor (1960), Sharma et al. (1977) (only the Gramineae section), with additional assistance 
from the Gramineae section in the three Floras: Fyson 1931 : 650-681 ; Gamble 1967: vol 3, 1171-1290 [this section 
done entirely by C.E.C. Fischer] and Matthew 1999: Pt 3:1442-1604, along with notes made by H.S. Suresh, 
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. 

‘Endemic; # Most probably introduced 

Gramineae (smaller grasses) 

Agrostis peninsularis Hook., 1 ,800-2,100 m, Kodanad, Nanjanad, Sispara; insufficiently collected and possibly rare, according 
to Bor. 

Agrostis pilosula Trin var. filifolia Bor, 1,800-2,300 m, little known. 

Agrostis pilosula Trin. var pilosula, 2,000-2,500 m, Doddabetta, Mudimund, Ootacamund, and Sispara. 

*Agrostis schmidii (Hook f.) Bor, 2,400 m, Ootacamund (no specimen in MH). 

#Agrostis stolonifera L., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; widespread in Europe, Asia, N. America, introduced to the Nilgiris; common, 
an important fodder grass. 

Andropogon lividus Thw., 2,200-2,400 m, purple grass, Kollimund, Mudimund, Ootacamund, Sispara; often in burnt areas, 
valuable fodder grass. 

* Andropogon longipes Hack., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; hardly known 

Andropogon polyptychus Steud. var deccanensis Bor, 2,300 m; common perennial around Bison Swamp, in upper Nilgiri 
marshes, on moister slopes near them; mainly in the far west, the dominating grass in some areas. 

#Anthoxanthum borii Jain & Pal, 2,000-2,400 m, common, widespread in low-lying ground, especially meadows. 



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35 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Andropogon odoratum L., 2,400-2,575 m, sweet vernal grass, Doddabetta and Ootacamund; widespread from Europe to 
temperate Asia, introduced to Nilgiris, sometimes cultivated; has a fragrant odour, can be used as hay, but is not very 
acceptable to livestock 

Apluda mutica L., 1,000-2,400 m, Coonoor, Gudalur, Kundhas, Marappalam-Burliar, Mudumalai, Naduvattam, Ootacamund; 
common, growing in forests and open country; when young it is good fodder for buffaloes. 

UAnstida adscensionis L., 850-2,400 m, six-weeks triple awn, Avarihalla R.F., Keti, Ootacamund, Sirur; widely distributed in 
Old and New Worlds, but probably introduced to Nilgiris; common and widespread except in the wettest of places; eaten by 
livestock when young, but avoided when in flower. 

Arthraxon lanceolatus (Roxb.) Hochst., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; unknown. 

Arthraxon quartinianus (A. Rich.) Nash, 1,800-2,400 m, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pykara; grows in swampy places, by 
roadsides, a pioneer on land no longer cultivated; often eaten by livestock. 

Arundinella ciliata Nees, 900-2,050 m, Cherambadi, Ebanad, Gudalur-Naduvattam, Kotagiri-Aravenu, Pakasuramalai; on 
slopes by rocky edges. 

Arundinella mesophylla Nees ex Steud., mainly above 1,200 m, Bikkapattimund, widespread, especially east of Doddabetta; 
on bare slopes by rocky edges. 

* Arundinella purpurea Hochst. var laxa Bor, 2,100 m, Sispara, very distinctive and with long pedicels. 

* Arundinella purpurea Hochst. var. purpurea , 2,000-2,100 m, Avalanche, Mukerti, 

Pakasuramalai, Pykara; thus far the only aluminum accumulator known in this family; good fodder grass. 

Arundinella setosa Trin. var. lanifera Fisch., 1,200-2,400 m., Gudalur Ghat, Naduvattam, 

Ootacamund, Pykara; a widespread, very variable species, fairly common, good for fodder. 

* Arundinella setosa Trin. var. nilagiriana Subbarao et Kumari, 1,850 m, at Koilbetta, near Ebanad; like A s. var. lanifera, but 
has hirsute glumes instead. 

Arundinella vaginata Bor, 600 to 2,100m, with long, villous, basal sheaths; sometimes abundant, on grassy slopes, in marshes. 
Arundo conspicua Forst., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; virtually unknown. 

#Avena sativa L., 2,200 m, Nanjanad; oats introduced from Europe, first a weed there alongside barley and wheat, then 
domesticated around 1,000 BC; now marginally cultivated in the Nilgiris and often a weed. 

#Avena sterilis L., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; seldom cultivated, and mainly a weed introduced from the Mediterranean. 

ttAxonopus affinis Chase, 1,000-1,660 m, Coonoor Ghat, Ouchterlony Valley; carpet grass introduced from the New World, 
excellent for fodder. 

Bothriochloa bladhii Retz, 2,400 m, Ootacamund; somewhat coarse and good for fodder. 

Bothriochloa foulkesii Henr., 1,900-2,400 m, Mudimund, Ootacamund, Porthimund, Pykara; near water and in marshes. 

UBothriochloa insculpta A. Camus, 1 ,650-2,400 m, Kateri Falls, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pakasaramalai, Pykara; common 
on downs, from tropical East Africa, it now grows over the Western Ghats and is used for fodder. 

Brachiaria semiundulata Stapf, 1,200-2,00 m, Coonoor, Naduvattam, Nanjanad, Ootacamund, Ouchterlony Valley, Pykara; 
common, on exposed slopes, with large glabrous spikelets. 

#Brachypodium sylvaticum P. Beauv., 1,800-2,400 m, perennial slender grass, Coonoor, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, 
Pakasuramalai, Pykara; grows in Europe and on temperate mountains in tropical Asia, but was probably introduced to the 

Nilgiris. 



36 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



#Briza maxima L., 1,800-2,500 m, large quaking grass, Doddabetta, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pykara, Upper Bhavani; 
common, from the Mediterranean, but an escape. 

#Briza minor L., 1,800-2,400 m, small quaking grass, Coonoor, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pykara; common, also introduced 
from the Mediterranean. 

#Bromus an/ensis L., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; Hubbard — cultivated for hay on poor soils in Europe; introduced to the Nilgiris 
and now growing wild. 

# Bromus catharticus Vahl., 1,900-2,400 m, Coonoor, Ootacamund, Upper Tiger Shola; native to South America, introduced 
as a fodder grass, but now a common escape. 

# Bromus ramosus Huds., 1,900-2,400 m, Ootacamund and Pykara; common from Europe into mountains of Central Asia, 
but was probably introduced into the Nilgiris; grows in shola glades and shady places. 

Capillipedium huegelii Stapf, 1,200-1,800 m, Kariashola, Naduvattam, Sundapatti; common annual or perennial, wide 
ranging, often aromatic 

Chrysopogon hackelii Fischer, 1,000-1,800 m, Gudalur-Nadugani, Naduvattam; a common, robust grass of mountainous 
areas. 

Chrysopogon orientalis A. Camus, 1 ,000-1 ,800 m, Ebanad, Gudalur, Naduvattam; common, conspicuous owing to its bright 
red and purple glumes, eaten by livestock. 

Chrysopogon verticillatus Trin., mainly above 1,200 m, in mountains of Tamil Nadu and Orissa; stout, hardly acceptable to 
livestock when fully grown, but commonly eaten when young. 

Chrysopogon zeylanicus Thw., 1,800-2,400 m, Aravankadu, Avarihalla R. F., Kotagiri, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, 
Pakasuramalai, Parkside R.F., Pykara, Sispara; large, with green and purple spikelets, widespread and common on the 
downs, higher peaks. 

Coelachne perpusilla Thw., 2,300 m, Porthimund, may be common; very delicate and trailing marshland lover. 

#Cortaderia selloana Asch. & Graebn., 2,400 m, Pampas grass, Ootacamund; an ornamental from South America. 

Cymbopogon flexuosus Wats. var. flexuosus Bor, 700-2,400 m, Burliar, Coonoor, Gudalur-Naduvattam, 
Mudumalai, Ootacamund, Pakasuramalai, Pykara; common tall (1 5m) perennial, the source of lemon grass oil, sometimes 
cultivated. 

Cymbopogon martinii Wats., 1,900 m and below, geranium grass, Pykara; a common perennial, sometimes cultivated for 
rusa oil in two forms: 1) motia, palmarusa oil and 2) sofia, ginger grass oil. 

Cymbopogon nardus Rendle var. confertiflorus Stapf ex Bor, 800-1,500 m, tall (1.5 m) wild citronella grass, sometimes 
cultivated; mainly on outer eastern Nilgiri slopes, sometimes dominating on savannas. 

Cymbopogon polyneuros Stapf, 1,900-2,500 m, Doddabetta, Mukurti, Ootacamund, Pykara; also tall (1.5m), with oil having 
a pleasant odour, but not used commercially. 

Cynodon dactylon Pers., 1,400-1,900 m, Bermuda or dog’s tooth grass, now worldwide and a troublesome weed in more 
than 80 countries; Ebanad, Ouchterlony Valley, and Pykara; a common perennial creeping grass, highly nutritious, especially 
for horses; as a lawn grass it can withstand only moderate grazing. 

Cyrtococcum deccanense Bor, 1,600-1,700 m, Coonoor, Gudalur Ghat, Kateri Falls; loves damp places, grows well in 
shade. 

Cyrtococcum longipes A. Camus, 800-1,800 m, Carcoor Ghat and Naduvattam; in damp and shady places. 

# Cyrtococcum patens A. Camus, 800-2,050 m, Pakasuramalai and Segur; widespread in Southeast Asia, probably introduced 
to the Nilgiris. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



#Dactylis glomerata L., 2,100-2,400 m, only species in the genus, Nanjanad and Ootacamund; perennial grass in North 
Africa, Europe, and temperate Asia; introduced, important fodder grass on Government hill farms, now a common escape 

Dichanthium oliganthum (Steud.) Cope, 1 ,900-2,100 m, Avalanche, Bikkapattimund, Mudimund, Naduvattam, Pykara, Sispara; 
widespread, roadsides, grassy slopes; whole plant villous, with a very aromatic and volatile scent. 

*Dichanthium pallidum (Hook f.) Stapf ex Fisch., elevational factors unknown, rare and collected by Foulkes (no specimen 
in MH). 

Digitaria ciliaris Koel., 850-2,100 m, Anaikatti, Benne R.F., Deepdale R.F, Gudalur, Nanjanad, Northern Hay R.F., 
Pakasuramalai, Sirur-Ebanad; pan-Tropical weed, common, good fodder grass, alongside roads and on open ground. 

Digitaria longiflora Pers., 1,000-2,000 m, Aravankadu, Gudalur, Kunnacombai R.F., Pakasuramalai; another pan-Tropical 
weed, common creeping grass alongside roads and in open spaces, often eaten by livestock. 

Digitaria temata Stapf, 2,100-2,400 m, Nanjanad and Ootacamund; in the wild from Africa to the Far East, common in 
wastelands, but with little fodder value; a handsome grass with silver racemes and purple fruits. 

Digitaria wallichiana Stapf, 1,200-2,200 m, Gudalur Ghat, Kunnacombai R.F., Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pakasuramalai; 
commonly eaten by livestock. 

#Ehrharta abyssinica Hochst., introduced from Africa, collected by Schmidt in about 1830; little is known about it in the Nilgiris. 

#Eleusine coracana Gaertn., 1 ,200-1 ,900 m, still grown widely by the Badagas finger millet cultivated in Africa for over 5000 
years and introduced to India about 3000 years ago; harvested grain stores well for a long time, stalks also provide hay for 
livestock. 

Eleusine indica Gaertn., 1 ,000-2,000 m, Mudumalai and Parkside R.F.; spread from India and now a noxious weed worldwide; 
annual, rapidly colonizing open spaces, and thus a good soil binder. 

Eragrostis gangetica Steud., 850-2,400 m, Anaikatty, Coonoor, Kilkotagiri, Kotagiri, Kunnucombai, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, 
Pakasuramalai, Parkside R.F., Segur; common annual also spreading in stream beds, eaten by cattle but not good for fodder. 

Eragrostis nigra Nees ex Steud., 1,550-2,575 m, Carrington-Kinnakorai, Coonoor, Doddabetta, Kunnacombai R.F., 
Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pykara, Sirur-Ebanad, Upper Bhavani; widely common, growing on exposed rocks and in 
wastelands. 

Eragrostis pilosa P. Beauv., 1,800-2,400 m, hairy or Indian love grass, Naduvattam, Ootacamund; common, grazed in some 
areas but rejected by livestock in others. 

Eragrostis tenuifolia Hochst. ex Steud., 1000-2400 m, Gudalur, Kunnacombai R.F., Ootacamund, Pykara; common weed, 
seeking fallow earth. 

Eragrostis unioloides Nees ex Steud., 950-2,400 m, Avalanche, Bikkapattimund, Bokkapuram R.F., Coonoor, Ebanad, 
Gudalur Ghat, Kunnacombai, Mudamalai, Nanjanad, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pakasuramalai; common and widely 
distributed, sometimes growing in water or damp places. 

*Enochrysis rangacharii Fisch., at 1,830 m, fairly common near Pykara; only Indian representative of an otherwise wholly 
tropical African and American genus. 

Eulalia phaeothrix O. Ktze., 1,500-2,200 m, Kotagiri, Mudimund, Pakasuramalai, Pykara, Sirur-Ebanad; common on the 
downs, sometimes a dominant. 

Festuca ovina L., 2,400-2,575 m, sheep’s fescue, Doddabetta, Ootacamund; worldwide temperate and tropical mountains; 
a hardy and wiry grass relished by sheep. 

Garnotia arundinacea Hook., 1,000-1,900 m, Balmadies Estate, Coonoor, Gudalur, Kateri Falls, Naduvattam, Upper Tiger 
Shola; trailing grass fond of shady places. 



38 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Gamotia courtallensis Thw., 1,500 m and above, Adderly Estate; common, in shady woods and nullahs (valleys), on moist 
ground or attached to rocks. 

Gamotia schmidii Hook., 1,400 m, little known perennial with flattened leaf sheaths. 

#Glyceria spicata Guss., 1,650-2,400 m, Kateri Falls, Nanjanad, Ootacamund; from the Mediterranean and now wild; 
floating meadow grass, thus seeking wet areas. 

Helictotrichon asperum Bor, 1,800-2,500 m, Doddabetta, Kodanad, Mudimund, Naduvattam, Ootacamund, Pykara; common 
and widespread. 

*Helictotnchon polyneurum (Hook.) Henr., 2,400 m, Doddabetta (Gamble 12993); fairly common, a distinctive looking 
grass. 

Heteropogon contortus P. Beauv., 910-2,400 m, spear grass, Avarihalla R.F., Kodanad-Kotagiri, Ootacamund, Sirur-Ebanad; 
common, widespread, colonising in wasteland and on the downs, grazed upon when young. 

#Hordeum vulgare L., mostly above 1,700 m, barley, once widely grown by the Badagas but now very limited in its cultivation. 
Cultivated in the Middle East before 6000 BC and spread in India after 3000 BC. 

Isachne boumeorum Fischer, 1,200-2,500 m, Doddabetta, Gudalur Ghat, Naduvattam; endemic to the Western Ghats; in 
sholas, rock crevices, on bare slopes. 

Isachne deccanensis Bor, 2,440 m, on downs near Ootacamund (no specimen in MH); endemic to the Nilgiris and Palnis. 

Isachne elegans Dalz., 1,500-2,400 m, Ootacamund; possibly rare in the Nilgiris, in marshes and moist places. 

Isachne globosa Kuntze, 1,000-2,025 m, Coonoor, Ebanad-Anaikatty, Gudalur, Kottaicombai, Pykara; common grass 
in wet places, gregarious in marshes, readily grazed by livestock; also a troublesome weed in rice fields at lower 
elevations. 

Isachne kunthiana Miq. var. kunthiana Bor, 1,900-2,500 m, Avalanche, Doddabetta, Mudimund Kothaban R.F., Ootacamund, 
Pakasuramalai, Pykara, common in high south Indian marshes. 

Isachne kunthiana Miq. var. latifolia Hook., 1800-2400 m, Avalanche, Naduvattam, Ootacamund; also common in high 
altitude marshes. 

*lsachne oreades (Domin) Bor, close to 1,200 m, only in the Gudalur Ghat area, recorded in a swamp within shola. 

Isachne walked Wight & Arn., 1,800-2,025 m, Carrington-Kinnakorai, Coonoor, Pakasuramalai; a tall perennial grass, 
common in high Nilgiris. 

Ischaemum commutatum Hack., 1,800-2,400 m, Coonoor, Naduvattam, Nanjanad, Ootacamund, Pykara; widely distributed, 
growing on stream banks and on steep slopes. 

Ischaemum indicum Merrill var. indicum , 1,000-2,400 m, Bikkatti, Ebanad-Anaikatty, Mudumalai, Kunnacombai-Kundah, 
Ootacamund, Pakasuramalai, Pykara; sometimes the most common grass on open downs. 

Ischaemum nilagincum Hack., 950-2,000 m, Coonoor, Gudalur-Nadugani, Kalhatti, Kolikarai, Northern Hay R.F., Runneymede, 
Sirur-Kukkal; often by streams. 

Ischaemum timorense Kunth, 700-1,500 m, Gudalur Ghat, in damp places and eaten by livestock. 

Jansenella gdffithiana Bor, 1,600 m, only species in this genus of India-Burma (Myanmar), Naduvattam; common, on 
marshes, stream banks, grassy peaks, grazed by livestock. 

Leersia hexandra Sw., 2,400 m and far below, throughout Tropics, Ootacamund; common perennial in a variety of moist 
habitats, often forming extensive colonies; eaten by cattle and buffaloes. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



#Lolium perenne L., 2,400 m, introduced worldwide and to Ootacamund; widespread naturally from Europe to temperate 
Asia, cultivated perennial rye grass and now an escape; valued for grazing and hay, but can be poisonous when infected by 
fungi. 

it-Lolium temulentum L., 2,100 m, Nanjanad; genetically developed introduction native to the Mediterranean, now an escape; 
a weed in cultivated areas, its seeds when infected with a fungus can poison livestock. 

#Miscanthus nepalensis Hack., 2,000-2,400 m, Keti, Ootacamund; introduced from the Himalaya or northeast India; a tall 
ornamental perennial. 

Oplismenus compositus P. Beauv., 1,100-2,400 m, Gudalur Ghat, Naduvattam, Nonesuch Estate, Ootacamund, 
Pakasuramalai, Sirur-Ebanad; perennial, common in moist places within sholas, sometimes in gregarious patches. 

Oplismenus undulatifolius P. Beauv., 1,875-2,400 m, Avalanche, Ootacamund, T. R. Bazaar; a shola grass. 

Panicum gardneri Thw., 1,000-2,025 m, Carriot shola, Coonoor, Naduvattam, Sholurmattam; common in sholas, a silvery 
hyaline margin of glumes and lower lemma is diagnostic. 

#Panicum maximum Jacq., 2000-2400 m, Guinea grass, Bengalmattam, Ootacamund; from Africa; commonly cultivated for 
fodder, an occasional escape. 

#Panicum repens L., 1 ,900-2,00 m, Coonoor, Manjanakora, Ootacamund, Pakasuramalai, Pykara; torpedo grass throughout 
tropics and subtropics and one of the most widely distributed grasses in the world, in all kinds of habitats, but prefers 
perennially moist places; sometimes a pest in cultivated fields. 

#Panicum sumatrense Roth et Schult., straddling 1,200 m, once cultivated widely by the Badagas for grain and fodder, but 
now in great decline; little millet, once identified as miliare Lam., progenitor a mystery, was a very ancient cultivar from China 
into Europe. 

Paspalum canarae Steud., 1,800 m, Naduvattam; common annual, in sandy, moist places. 

#Paspalum dilatatum Poir, 1,800-2,400 m, Dallis grass, Carrington, Coonoor, Naduvattam, Ootacamund; introduced from 
South America; an excellent pasture grass, important for fodder, can withstand grazing and moderate frost. 

ttPaspalum scrobiculatum L., 600-1,900 m, Pakasuramalai, Pykara, lower eastern and southern slopes; koda or kodra millet, 
common wild perennial throughout India to 1,600 m, is seldom cultivated now; as a cultivar, seen only among the Kurumbas; 
often grows wild in wasteland and moist places, grazed by livestock; seedheads liable to ergot infection, making them poisonous. 

#Pennisetum ciandestinum Hochst., 2,100-2,400 m, Kikuyu grass, Nanjanad, Ootacamund; introduced from eastern Africa 
in 1926; vigorous, stoloniferous growth; good pasture and fodder grass, used for lawns and as a soil binder on slopes; now 
a widespread escape. 

#Pennisetum villosum R. Br., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; introduced from the Middle East, now growing wild as well; frequently 
raised as an ornamental. 

#Phalaris aquatica Cent., 2,400 m, Ootacamund; native to the Mediterranean, but introduced and cultivated as a pasture grass. 

Poa annua L., 1,900-2,400 m, annual meadow grass, Aravenu, Coonoor, Keti, Nanjanad, Ootacamund; fairly common, 
growing widely in India at higher elevations. 

*Poa gamblei Bor, above 2,500 m, and therefore on the highest peaks; fairly common. 

#Rhynchelytrum repens C. E. Hubb., 1,450 m, Kateri-Kundah; native of tropical Africa, introduced to gardens and now an 
escape; not a fodder grass. 

Rottboellia exaltata L., 1,675m, Sirur-Kukalthorai; widely distributed annual, in moist places, provides hay. 

Sacciolepis indica A. Chase, 1,650-1,925 m, Avalanche, Ebanad-Sirur; Kateri Falls, Keti, Kodanad; common grass in 
marshy places, sometimes up to 1 m tall. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Sehima nervosum Stapf, 1,850 m, Ebanad; locally common perennial grass, in dry, sandy, rocky places; good for fodder. 

Setaria glauca (L.) P. Beauv., 1,000-2,400 m, Anaikatty, Benne R.F., Devarshola, Doddabetta, Edapalli, Kottaicombai, 
Kunnacombai R.F., Mudumalai, Mukerti, Ootacamund, Pakasuramalai, Pykara, Sirur-Kukkal; fairly common, widely distributed, 
an acceptable fodder grass. 

# Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv., mostly above 1 ,100 m, once widely cultivated by the Badagas but now in great decline; foxtail 
millet, progenitor not firmly established, a sacred plant in China by 2,700 BC, and a very early cultivar over a vast region into 
Europe. 

Setaria tomentosa Kunth., 950-2,010 m, Gudalur Ghat, Kundah, Kunnacombai, Kunjapanai, Northern Hay R.F.; widespread 
in the plains; at higher elevations in ditches near roads, mostly in moist and shady places. 

Sporobolus diander (Retz.) P. Beauv., 1,000-2,400 m, Benne R.F., Carrington, Coonoor, Gudalur, Mudumalai, Ootacamund; 
good pasture grass. 

Sporobolus piliferus Kunth, 1,900 m and lower, Bikkapattimund, Coonoor; often colonises broken ground and is grazed by 
livestock. 

Themeda quadrivalvis O. Ktze. var. quadrivalvis , 1 ,500-2,400 m, Anaikatty-Ebanad, Ootacamund; widely distributed, preferred 
by buffaloes. 

Themeda trianda Forsk., 1,000-2,400 m, widespread in grassy areas, very common perennial in the Old World tropics and 
subtropics; good for grazing livestock when young. 

Tripogon bromoides Roem. & Schult., 1,600-2,400 m; common on rocky surfaces, walls, and in crevices. 

Tripogon capillatus Jaub. & Spach, 900-1,300 m, widespread in the Western Ghats; often epiphytic amidst the mosses of 
shola trees and on old walls. 

Tripogon jacquemontii Stapf, 2,200-2,600 m, Coonoor Peak and higher; often gregarious, in barren places. 

Tripogon wightii Hook., 1,000-1,800 m, endemic to southern India. 

#Triticum spp. 1,200-2,200 m, once widely cultivated and now rarely so; wheat greatly in need of study, with varieties 
introduced by the British; domesticated by 6,500 BC in the Middle East. 

#Vulpia megalura Rydb., 2,400 m, North American grass, now growing near Ootacamund. 

ttVulpia myuros Gmel., 2,000-2,500 m, mouse-tailed fescue, Doddabetta, Keti, Nanjanad, Ootacamund, Pykara, Upper 
Bhavani; widespread from Europe into temperate Asia; introduced, now runs wild and grows as a weed in cultivated areas 

Zenkeria elegans Trin., 1,700-1,930 m, Aravenu-Kotagiri, Bokkapuram R.F., Coonoor, Kodanad R.F., Mandalore R.F.; little 
known perennial, widespread in southern India; first recorded for the Nilgiris by Gamble 

Zenkeria stapfii Henr., above 1,200 m, southern India and Sri Lanka; earliest record in the Nilgiris by Perrottet and little 
known there. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Appendix 2: Nilgiri Plants in their International (Generic) and 
Local (Species) Environmental Settings 

The following lists are greatly modified revisions based upon nuclear data and organization in Blasco and 
Thanikaimoni (1974), Gupta (1971, 1989), Mani (1974), Meher-Homji (1967, 1975), Menon (1966-67), 
Shankarnarayan (1958), and Vishnu-Mittre and Gupta (1972). The floras by Fyson (1932), Gamble (1967), 

Mathew (1999), and Sharma et al. (1977) were constantly referred to. The international distributions of 
plant genera were found in Shaw and Willis (1973). There was no attempt to make the lists complete, but 
an effort was made to cover representative families and genera of plants of the Nilgiris. Different groups 
of plants focused upon in suggestive listings enable us to consider how the overall vegetation of the Nilgiri 
upland island has varied through time, and to think about the significance of specific plants in the region. 

Because they play such a significant role in making the Nilgiris botanically distinctive, there is more 
coverage of the balsam, orchid and strobilanthes plants. 

Note. The number within parentheses following the genus represents the number of species of that genus being 
covered. 

NON-GRASS SPECIES ON GRASSLAND 

Some plants and their ancestors probably spread in during the Pleistocene: 

ACANTHACEAE 

Justicia (300, tropics and subtropics): latispica, nilgherrensis, simplex, herbs growing widely in Indo-Malaya and 
Ethiopia, common in open grassland of the downs. 

BUXACEAE 

Sarcococca (about 20, Himalaya to China, Taiwan, and the Philippines): trinervia, shrub, very common all over the 
downs, also on Eastern Ghats. 

CAMPANULACEAE 

Campanula (300, North Hemisphere, temperate, especially the Mediterranean and tropical mountains): fulgens, 
herb, also in Khasi Hills, Nepal, Sikkim. 

CAPRIFOLIACEAE 

Lonicera (200, North America, Eurasia, Africa, Himalaya, to Malaysia and the Philippines): ligustrina, untidy shrub, 
also in Nepal, Khasi Hills. 

CARYOPHYLLACEAE 

Stellaria (120, cosmopolitan): media and saxatilis, herbs, now common weeds, on grasslands as well. 
CHENOPODIACEAE 

Chenopodium (about 150, temperate parts of the world): ambrosioides, erect or prostrate herb, a common weed, 
Nilgiris and Shevaroys. 

COMPOSITAE 

Artemisia (400, mainly in temperate Northern Hemisphere, common in northeast China, western US and on Russian 
steppes; South Africa, South America): vulgaris, tall aromatic herb, shrub, South Indian mountains to Himalaya; apparently 
truly wild in Nilgiris though commonly cultivated. 

Cnicus (about 150, mostly in northern temperate climates): wallichii, Common Indian Thistle with stem over 1 m high, 
open downs, flowers in June, from Himalaya — Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. 

Senecio (up to 3000, cosmopolitan, varied: climbers, xerophytes, succulents, herbs, shrubs, to trees): 
corymbosus, climber on downs; lavandulaefolius, herb on open downs; wighti, swamp ragwort, also growing in Khasi 

Hills. 

CRUCIFERAE 

Cardamine (160, cosmopolitan, but chiefly temperate): hirsuta. Hairy Bitter-cress, annual herb, common on the 
downs, generally in all temperate Eurasian countries, including England, and all temperate parts of India. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



CYPERACEAE 

Carex (up to 2000, cosmopolitan, especially in temperate parts of the world, with many alpine and marsh dwelling 
species): lindleyana, herb, sedge, on exposed dry land, Sri Lanka to Khasi Hills, China, Japan, nubigena , another sedge, 
in damp places, not in water, widespread, Malaya, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Western Ghats to Khasi Hills, Himalaya 

DIPSACACEAE 

Dipsacus (86, in Eurasia, especially in the Mediterranean, tropical Africa): leschenaultii, teasel, a large herb on the 
downs, 

DROSERACEAE 

Drosera (100, tropical and temperate, especially Australia and New Zealand), with enfolding sticky leaves enabling 
plants to ingest trapped insects): burmanii, Common Sundew, all India, tiny herb in damp places, widespread in Nilgiris; 
peltata, moon-leaf sundew, all India, tiny herb, everywhere on damp Nilgiri downs. 

ERIOCAULACEAE 

Eriocaulon (400, tropical and subtropical, c. 30 in Japan and c, 8 in North America, with septangulare in eastern US 
and the Scottish Hebrides): collinum , Hat-pin Flower or small grey-head, small herb, common in wet places, South India 
and Sri Lanka. 

GENTIANACEAE 

Exacum (40, palaeotropical, at least 20 in India): perrottetii and wightianum, both herbs. 

Gentiana (400, cosmopolitan, excluding Africa, chiefly alpine): pedicellata, common herb on Nilgiri downs, also in 
Himalaya (Kashmir to Bhutan), Khasi Hills to Java and China. 

GERANIACEAE 

Geranium (400, cosmopolitan, especially temperate parts of the world): nepalense, Crane’s Bill, common herb on 
downs, Kashmir, Himalaya and Khasi Hills. 

GUTTIFERAE 

Hypericum (400, in tropical and temperate mountains): mysorense, St. John’s Wort, shrub on grasslands, abundant 
everywhere on the downs, especially on poorer soils, sometimes covering entire slopes, only in South Indian mountains. 

HAEMODORACEAE 

Ophiopogon (20, Himalaya to Japan and Philippines): intermedius [founded on a Nepal plant and indistinguishable 
from it?], Lily of the Wood, herb, at lower levels, Kotagari included, Western Ghats, Himalaya and Khasi Hills. 

HYPOXIDACEAE 

Curculigo (10, tropical up into temperate mountain regions): orchioides, Yellow Ground Star, small perennial herb in 
moist places, Himalaya, Khasi Hills and Western Ghats. 

Hypoxis (100, Africa, Indo-Malaya, East Asia, Australia, America): aurea, small herb scattered in grasslands, Kashmir 
to South India, Java, China and Japan. 

Molineria (7, Indo-Malaya): trichocarpa, another small herb, common on the higher downs, especially in loosened soil 
areas. 

LABIATAE 

Micromeria (100, cosmopolitan): biflora, Lemon-scented Thyme, herb, common over higher grassy slopes, Himalaya, 
Kashmir to Bhutan and on higher mountains of South India; capitellata, has taller stem and larger leaves, western Himalaya 
to mountains of South India. 

Teucrium (300, cosmopolitan, but especially the Mediterranean): wightii, thick stemmed herb in rocky places on 
higher downs. 

LENTIBULARIACEAE 

Utricularia (120, tropical and temperate regions, all in the latter being aquatic; many species remarkable for small 
bladders which trap and then enable digestion of small creatures): graminifolia, Common Blue Bladderwort; scandens, 
Yellow Bladderwort, both common small herbs in marshes within the downs. 



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43 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



LILIACEAE 

Lilium (80, mainly in northern temperate regions): neilgherrense, the Nilgiri Lily, once common on downs, 
stems to 1 m, white flowers, only in extreme southern India — Anamalai, Biligirirangan, Nilgiri, Palni and Tinnevelly 
Hills. 

LOBELIACEAE 

Lobelia (about 250, cosmopolitan, mostly tropical and subtropical, especially America; giant lobelias in Africa and 
Asia): leschenaultiana, giant lobelia, biennial subshrub with pale yellow flowers, common everywhere, higher grasslands 
as well, but also in shola fringes; Sri Lanka, Indian Peninsula into Southeast Asia. 

OLEACEAE 

Ligustrum (about 50, Europe to northern Iran, East Asia, Indo-Malaya to New Guinea and Australia); perrottetii, privet, 
usually a shrub but a tree in eastern areas, in clumps on the western downs, doing well near water. 

ORCHIDACEAE 

The international disthbutions of the genera in this section are provided later under Shola Species. 

Aerides crispum , an epiphyte in sholas, especially near Coonoor, called the Pink Rock Orchid because it is so often 
seen growing on exposed rocks, Western Ghats, Palnis as well. 

Habenaria cephalotes , heyneana , and longicomiculata, ground orchids amidst grasses. 

Peristylus richardianus and spiralis , ground orchids, widespread on grasslands. 

Satyrium nepalense, ground orchid, on grasslands and in marshes, abundant during westerly monsoon; widespread 
from Sri Lanka northward to the Himalaya and east into Burma. 

Spiranthes sinensis, Lady’s Tresses, terrestrial orchid, on open dry grasslands and in swamps; sinensis var. wightiana, 
especially in the Kotagiri area. 

PAPILIONACEAE 

Crotalaria (550, 100 undescribed?, at least 80 in India, tropics and subtropics, variable — procumbent creepers, to 
erect herbs, to shrubs and trees), genus named after the way seeds rattle in ripened pods [Gk. krotalon = a child’s rattle]; on 
the higher downs, these species are liable to be encountered with attractive yellow flowers; leschenaultii, small bush with long 
flower spikes; scabrella, procumbent herb to shrub with flower spikes; wightiana, bushy shrub with rising flower spikes. 

Indigofera (700, warm parts of the world, but especially South Africa): cassioides, shrub on open downs; pedicellate, 
common prostrate herb on higher downs; both species in Peninsula mountains, including the Western Ghats. 

Sophora (50, tropical and warm temperate regions): glauca, shrub on downs, and especially on drier hillsides; 
mountains of South India, but not in the Palnis or Maharashtra State. 

POLYGALACEAE 

Polygala (about 550, cosmopolitan, excluding New Zealand, Polynesia and the Arctic), sibihca, milkwort, a common 
herb on the higher downs, sometimes dominant, Mudimund and Ootacamund; Himalaya, Kashmir eastward to Khasi Hills, 
China, Siberia and Japan. 

PORTULACACEAE 

Portulaca (200, tropics and subtropics): in Nilgiris(?), none now . 

PRIMULACEAE 

Lysimachia (200, cosmopolitan, especially East Asia and North America): Candida subsp. obovata, a slender herb 
amidst grasses; deltoides, in Kundah grasslands; leschenaultii, small perennial herb, on higher downs, prefers open 
marshy meadows; procumbens, creeping Jenny, a trailing herb, closely allied to a European species. 

RANUNCULACEAE 

Anemone (150, cosmopolitan): rivularis, a perennial herb, all over the Nilgiris, luxurious in damp places and dwarfed 
with dryness, to 4,000 m in Sikkim. 



44 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Ranunculus (400, cosmopolitan, temperate and cold regions, tropical mountains): reniformis, a common perennial 
herb in damp places on open downs, showy bright yellow flowers, only in mountains of south India. 

RHAMNACEAE 

Rhamnus (110, cosmopolitan): virgatus, Indian Buckthorn, spiny and stunted shrub, uncommon in upper Nilgiris; in 
temperate Himalaya and from China to Japan. 

ROSACEAE 

Cotoneaster ( 50, mainly North Hemisphere, temperate regions): buxifolia, small tree to shrub, hard and tough wood, 
sometimes amidst grasses; in Western Ghats and Palnis. 

Potentilla (500, nearly cosmopolitan, but mostly in Northern Hemisphere, temperate to Arctic areas): leschenaultiana, 
herb, yellow flowers, common in open grassland; sundaica, herb, bright yellow flowers, higher grasslands, especially in 
moist areas. 

Rosa (250, Northern Hemisphere, temperate realms and tropical mountains): leschenaultiana, Nilgiri Dog Rose, 
abundant and often found in shola fringes as well. 

Rubus (250, cosmopolitan, especially in temperate areas of Northern Hemisphere, with about 3000 segregates and 
forms of fmticosus, the Blackberry): ellipticus, Yellow Raspberry, in Western Ghats but not Maharashtra, also in temperate - 
tropical Himalaya, Khasi Hills, Burma and Yunan; rugosus, Purple Raspberry, rare on Bombay Ghats, but in Himalaya, 
Nepal, Sikkim, Burma and Malaya; both species widespread on downs and in shola borders. 

SANTALACEAE 

Osyris (6 or 7, Mediterranean and Africa to India): wightiana, evergreen shrub on open downs and in sholas, only in 
higher mountains of India and Sri Lanka. 

Thesium (325, Europe, Africa and Asia to Australia): wightianum, yellow procumbent perennial herb, parasitic on roots 
of other plants, common in higher grasslands. 

SCROPHULARIACEAE 

Pedicularis (500, mostly Northern Hemisphere, especially in mountains of Central and East Asia): perrottetii, Nilgiri 
Lousewort, perennial herb, remarkable for its large white flowers to 10 cm, mainly in the Kundah grasslands, seen in the 
vicinity of Avalanche, Mukerti and Nilgiri peaks, also in the Anamalais, not the Palnis; zeylanica, Pink Rattle, perennial herb, 
semi-parasitic, red flowers, in damp places on higher grasslands, near Kotagiri and Ootacamund, only in Sri Lanka and 
South India mountains, Palnis included 

SOLANACEAE 

Solanum (1,700, tropical and temperate regions): violaceum subsp. multiflomm, prickly low bush, common on the 
downs, from Ootacamund to Pykara; wightii, erect herbaceous plant with large lavender blue flowers, easily seen near 
Coonoor, also living up to higher downs. 

UMBELLIFERAE 

Bupleurum (150, Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America): distichophyllum, short herb, grass-like, common on higher 
downs; mucronatum, common hare’s ear, stout, branched herb, also over downs; plantaginifolium, Giant Hare’s Ear, tall 
perennial herb to over 1 m high, only in mountains of South India, on Doddabetta, Elk Hill and Snowdon. 

Heracleum (70, temperate areas in Northern Hemisphere and tropical mountains): candolleanum, large leafy herb, 
common on higher grasslands; ceylanicum, tall herb, attractive Queen Anne's lace with white flowers, in the higher low- 
lying marshes, spreading during monsoonal rains, and on the highest peaks; hookerianum, erect herb with leaves flat on 
the ground, widespread in higher grasslands and on to highest peaks; rigens, tall herb, common on drier high grasslands. 

Pimpinella (150, Africa, Eurasia, 1 sp. Pacific North America, a few in South America): candolleana, Cow Parsnip, 
common herb on open downs, crushed leaves faintly smelling of anise, Nilgiris and Palnis. 

VALERIANACEAE 

Valeriana (over 200, Eurasia, South Africa, temperate North America, Andes): hookenana, herb, common on higher 
downs; leschenaultii, herb, also on highest downs, Doddabetta to Lakkadi and Pykara. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



VIOLACEAE 

Viola (500, cosmopolitan, chiefly northern temperate regions, but many in the Andes): hamiltoniana, Marsh Violet, 
prefers wet areas; betonicifolia subsp. betonicifolia, Spear-leafed Violet, amidst grasses; pilosa, Common Wood Violet, in 
sholas as well; all small perennial herbs on the downs. 

XYRIDACEAE 

Xyris (250, tropical and subtropical, but mostly American): capensis var. schoenoides, common herb in sunny and 
moist areas within grasslands, Nilgiris, Palnis and Shevaroys. 

NOTE. BECAUSE SOME OF THE PLANTS OR THEIR ANCESTORS MAY HAVE COME FROM MADAGASCAR 
BEFORE THE INDIAN PENINSULA SPLIT AWAY AND MOVED NORTHWARDS IN THE CRETACEOUS PERIOD, 

THE WORD MADAGASCAR SUGGESTS A POSSIBLE AFFINITY. SOME OF THE PLANTS LISTED BELOW 
PROBABLY EVOLVED IN THE NILGIRIS. 

ACANTHACEAE 

Andrographis (20, tropical Asia, mostly in India), affinis, neesiana, products, subshrubs, widespread on Nilgiri 
grasslands, often abundant in steep, rocky places; Nilgiris a center of evolution. 

Strobilanthes (over 400, Asia, Sri Lanka to Japan, the Philippines and Australia, prominently in Western Ghats of 
India): kunthianus, common multi-branched compact shrub to 2 m tall, on open grassland in flowering years, pale 
blue to mauve flowers, a multiennial with recorded flowerings in approximately 12 year intervals causing spectacular floral 
displays and its absence during the long intervals; people who have seen flowering Kurunji displays on mountain 
slopes remember them with awe, in Palnis as well; sessilis, small erect herb with stems only 30 to 45 cm tall, blue-purple 
to mauve flowers, a perennial flowering each year, Ootacamund to Pykara, Avalanche and into the Kundahs, not in 
Palnis. 

ASCLEPIADACEAE 

Ceropegia (160, Canary Islands, tropical Africa and South Africa, notably Madagascar, tropical and subtropical Asia): 
ciliata, small herb amid grasses, climber on shrubs, also in Palnis; elegans, herb, runs in grass or climbs on to shrubs, 
mostly east of Doddabetta to Kotagiri, southward from Nilgiris to Sri Lanka; pusilla, common, larger herb amid grasses of 
the downs, roots are called Toda potatoes, also in Anairnalais but not Palnis. 

BALSAMINACEAE 

Impatiens (about 550, both tropical and temperate, Eurasia and Africa, especially Madagascar and mountains of Sri 
Lanka, southern India): chinensis, Chinese Balsam, herb, stem unbranched to 50 cm tall, opposing leaves, mauve-pink to 
white flowers, common and widespread all over Nilgiris, also on the downs, but especially in damp places, perhaps the 
most widely distributed of all the balsams, higher areas in Western Ghats and down to 900 m, Bhutan, Assam, Khasi Hills 
and eastward to Burma and into China; tomentosa, annual erect herb with red-tinged stems, small rose-pink flowers, 
sometimes abundant in marshes on the downs, also thriving next to streams, widespread, Thalakundah, Pykara and Upper 
Bhavani — Western Ghats, Palnis as well. 

COMPOSITAE 

Anaphalis (35, Europe, Asia and Americas), 10 species in Nilgiris, herbs: aristata, aromatic flowers and sticky leaves, 
on downs, in drier places; lawii, common everywhere, often on poorer soils; leptophylla, white everlasting, in damp places 
on the downs; wightiana, common on downs, in damp and cooler niches. 

Youngia (about 40, temperate and tropical Asia; originally from temperate Southeast Asia?): fuscipappa, more primitive 
herb, Avalanche, Sispara and south into Sri Lanka; japonica subsp. genuina, Japanese Hawk’s Beard, herb, Western 
Ghats to Ashambu Hills in India — Indo-Malaya to Japan and Korea. 

CYPERACEAE 

Fimbristylis (300, tropical and subtropical, especially Indo-Malaya and Australia): uliginosa, common sedge on open 
downs, Ootacamund to Pykara and on tallest peaks, only Nilgiris and Palnis; look for dew glistening on the white styles in 
the early morning. 

Kyllinga (60, tropical and subtropical, especially Africa): melanosperma (or Carex melanospermus?), perennial 
sedge on downs, Ootacamund to Pykara and Upper Bhavani, South Africa and Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Indo- 

Malaya. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Pycreus (109, tropical and subtropical): unioloides var. angulatus (or Carex unioloides ?), sedge, prefers marshes, 
stem to 1 m, Nilgiris and Palnis. 

EUPHORBIACEAE 

Glochidion (300, Madagascar and tropical America [few], tropical Asia to Australia and Polynesia [many]): neilgherrense , 
small and untidy tree, male flowers with strong honey scent and female flowers with no scent, common species on downs, 
but also grows in sholas. 

HALORAGACEAE 

Laurembergia (4, tropical South America, tropical Africa, Madagascar, Indo-Malaya): brevipes, a small marsh herb, 
widespread on higher downs, Western Ghats, Nilgiris and Palnis; hirsuta , hairy herb on damp banks in grassy areas, 
Doddabetta to Sispara, Western Ghats, Nilgiris but not Palnis. 

MELASTOMACEAE 

Osbeckia (100, tropics from Africa to Australia; India with a large share of the species): brachystemon, small herb, 
widespread, amidst grasses; leschenaultiana, Red Osbeckia with red branches, purple flowers, a common shrub from 
Ootacamund to Pykara and Sispara. 

PRIMULACEAE 

Anagallis (28, mainly western Europe, Africa, Madagascar): arvensis, Common Pimpernel, widespread on downs, 
flowers close in dull or cold weather. 

RUBIACEAE 

Hedyotis (150, tropical Asia): articularia, widespread shrub on downs, from Ootacamund to Bangitapal and Mudimund, 
concentrating near streams; stylosa , shrub on downs, Ootacamund to Pykara and Sispara; verticillaris, herb on higher 
western downs, sometimes abundant near streams, plant often stemless and flat on the ground, long parallel-ribbed 
leaves forming a rosette. 

COMMON PLANTS PROBABLY INTRODUCED BY HUMANS 
COMPOSITAE 

Eupatorium (1200, mostly America, a few in Europe, Asia and Africa): glandulosum, Goat Weed or the Curse of the 
Nilgiris, first introduced to a garden in Ootacamund after 1900, but now an escape all over. 

DENNSTAEDTIACEAE 

Ptendium (1, cosmopolitan, and thus all over the world):) aquilinum, bracken, possibly introduced by the British. 
OXALIDACEAE 

Oxalis (800, cosmopolitan, but mainly Central and South America, South Africa, herbaceous weeds, troublesome in 
cultivated areas and elsewhere): latifolia, from Mexico to Peru, now a widespread escape; pes-caprae, native of the Cape of 
Good Hope and probably introduced early by settling British, now a curse amid cultivated potatoes because of its tubers; 
purpurea, native of South Africa, probably introduced for British gardens in the early 1800s and now a weed in gardens; 
spiralis, from the Chilean Andes, another garden escape; tetraphylla, from Mexico, widespread garden escape, most 
troublesome in gardens. 

PAPILIONOIDEAE 

Cytisus (about 30, Atlantic Islands, Europe, Mediterranean): multiflorus, White Broom, bush, native to Algeria 
but introduced from the Iberian Peninsula; scoparius, Yellow Broom, another bush, introduced from Scotland and 
England. 

Ulex (20, Europe, North Africa): europaeus, Common Gorse, probably introduced from Britain. 

PLANTAGINACEAE 

Plantago (265, cosmopolitan): lanceolata, Ribwort Plantain, a scattered weed. 

VERBENACEAE 

Lantana (150, tropical America, West Indies, tropical Africa and South Africa): camara, thorny tropical American shrub, 
common from plains to 2,100 m, gregarious and typically growing in patches, possibly the most widespread problem plant 
of India. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



SHOLA FRINGE (FOREST— GRASSLAND ECOTONE) SPECIES 
ACANTHACEAE 

Strobilanthes asper, erect shrub to 6 m tall, purple-white flowers with a strong scent, within sholas but often more 
abundant in their borders, no defined period for dying off, Ouchterlony Valley into the precipitous western edge and higher 
downs beyond, not in, Palnis; foliosus, large gregarious shrub to 4 m tall, sometimes forming extensive masses, with pale 
blue flowers, often in flower and apparently a perennial, not dying out at set intervals, common in sholas and their borders, 
Coonoor to Ootacamund, Naduvattam and Sispara, also in Palnis; urceolaris, an erect shrub to 1 m tall with long internodes 
when in sholas, very low shrub with low branching in open grassland, sometimes abundant in borders, pale blue flowers, 
periodicity of dying remains unknown, near Ootacamund and in higher areas, also in Palnis; zenkenanus, gregarious 
shrub, mauve to pale violet flowers, periodicity of dying remains unknown, thrives within sholas and is locally abundant in 
borders and out into grasslands, bright green leaves larger on plants in shade, recorded at Coonoor and Doddabetta and 
mostly living in higher sholas, in Palnis as well. 

AQUIFOLIACEAE 

Ilex (400, cosmopolitan, except North America): wightiana, common tree in sholas, sometimes a dominant, near 
streams everywhere, flourishes in the open, forming small rounded trees; only on South Indian mountains, recommended 
for shola regeneration. 

BALSAMINACEAE 

Impatiens henslowiana, shrub to 2 m high, flowers white tinged pink, gregarious and forming clumps in moist shady 
places, also in shola borders and alongside streams, only in Sri Lanka and mountains of extreme southern India; leschenaultii, 
common balsam shrub, well-branched and very leafy to 1 m high and taller within darkened shola interiors, white flowers with 
a pink tinge, flowering year-round, common near Ootacamund within sholas and in their borders, widespread in area and 
elevation, Doddabetta to Pykara and the Kundahs, down to the Ouchterlony Valley, only in the Western Ghats, not the Palnis. 

BERBERIDACEAE 

Berberis (450, widespread in Eurasia, North Africa, North and South America): tinctoria, Common Nilgiri Barberry, 
within and bordering sholas, variable in size and form, thorny shrub to 3,200 m in the temperate Himalaya. 

Mahonia (70, Indo-Malaya, mainly Himalaya to Japan, North and South America): leschenaultii, Holly-leaf Barberry, 
common large shrub in shola borders, higher elevations, closely related to nepalensis in the temperate Himalaya. 

CAPRIFOLIACEAE 

Lonicera (200, North America, Eurasia, South to North Africa, Himalaya, Malaysia, and to Philippines): leschenaultii, 
common, tangled climber, especially abundant in shola borders; ligustrina, compact shrub, uncommon, preferring shaded 
parts of shola borders; both being honeysuckles. 

Viburnum (200, temperate and subtropical, especially Asia and North America, 16 in Malaysia): cylindricum, common 
small evergreen tree in shola borders, widely distributed from Sri Lanka to the Himalaya and western China, Southeast 
Asia; erubescens, shrub with forked white-barked branches and crimson leaf stalks, common in shola borders, higher 
elevations, including Doddabetta and Ootacamund. 

COMPOSITAE 

Senecio (covered already, see above): neelgherryanus, Nilgiri Ragwort, herb, spreading from shola borders into 
nearby grasslands; walked, with vines growing up into shola trees bordering grasslands. 

Vernonia (1000, America, Africa, Asia and Australia, very common in grassy areas): bourdillonii, small shrub; 
conyzoides, sturdy herb; malabanca, stout shrub; pectiniformis, shrub; while all may grow on grasslands, they commonly 
thrive in shola borders. 

DAPHNIPHYLLACEAE 

Daphniphyllum (10, Indo-Malaya to Taiwan and Japan): neilgherrense, widespread tree, common in sholas and their 
borders, but sometimes spreading into degraded open areas nearby; in Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, to Java and Korea as well. 

ELAEAGNACEAE 

Elaeagnus (45, mainly Northern Hemisphere, Eursa to North America): kologa, undershrub to climber over tall trees, 
common in shola borders; mountains of Sri Lanka, Indo-Malaya and China. 



48 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



ERICACEAE 

Gaultheria (200, circum-Pacific and west to western Himalaya and south Indian hills): fragrantissima, very common 
shrub in shola borders, but spreading into grasslands, with leaves crushed for its oil; in Nepal and Bhutan to 2,600 m. 

Rhododendron (over 1 ,000, mainly in northern temperate regions, with South China into the Himalaya being the 
world’s main region of diversity; a lesser centre in North America; about 300 in highland New Guinea): arboreum subsp. 
nilagiricum , the ideal small tree coloniser and pyrophyte in the mountains of South India, spreading from sholas and their 
borders into grasslands. 

ICACINACEAE 

Gomphandra (33, tropical Asia to Solomon Islands): coriacea, small tree or shrub, common within sholas and in their 
borders. 

MALVACEAE 

Abelmoschus (15, tropical Africa and Asia, Australia): angulosus, Hill Mallow, tall and coarse perennial herb, often 
near streams, in shola borders, flowering in the coldest months, also spreading on to grasslands, Ootacamund to Kotagiri 
and below Kodanad; only in higher mountains of Sri Lanka and extreme south India. 

MYRTACEAE 

Rhodomyrtus (20, in mountains from Sri Lanka to Philippines, New Caledonia and Australia): tomentosa , hill guava, 
bush to small tree, thriving best on to open terrain from shola borders in mountains from Sri Lanka to Singapore. 

OLEACEAE 

Jasminum (300, Old World tropics and subtropics, over 50 in India, wild jasmine): bignoniaceum, erect shrub with 
bright yellow flowers, near sholas and all over the downs; breviloban, large climbing shrub, far up on to tree crowns, with 
terminal bunches of white flowers; cordifolium , shrub climbing up small trees, has large leaves and scentless white 
flowers; all adapted to shola borders. 

POLYGALACEAE 

Polygala (about 550, cosmopolitan, excluding New Zealand, Polynesia and the Arctic): arillata, Red-eye or Common 
Milkwort, yellow flowers, abundant shrub in shade of sholas, especially along borders, Coonoor, Kodanad and Ootacamund; 
at higher elevations from Sri Lanka to Bhutan, southern China and the Philippines. 

RANUNCULACEAE 

Clematis (250, cosmopolitan, chiefly in temperate regions): munroana, gregarious climber with vines reaching up 
into tree crowns, shola border the ideal niche with solar energy promoting growth, Sispara area; wlghtiana , woody climber 
with vines forming intertwined masses, Sholurmattam, near Ootacamund and to Avalanche; both only in southern India. 

Ranunculus (400, cosmopolitan, temperate and cold regions, tropical mountains): diffusus , erect glossy herb with large 
yellow flowers, in moist exposed ground, stream banks and shola borders; also lives from the Himalaya to Burma and 
China. 

RHAMNACEAE 

Rhamnus (110, cosmopolitan): wightii, a large shola shrub or tree also growing on the downs, yellow flowers, 
common in shola borders, widespread over the higher Nilgiris; only in Sri Lanka and southern India. 

ROSACEAE 

Photinia (60, Indo-Malaya, mainly Himalaya to Japan, North America): integrifolia var. sublanceolata , large evergreen 
tree in sholas and smaller on grasslands, a pioneer species inclined to spread out from shola borders. 

Potentilla indica, small prostrate perennial herb, yellow flowers and ripened red berries, flowering all year, locally 
abundant on shola floors, especially in borders and moist places, common all over Nilgiris; Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, 
Afghanistan, India, Himalaya, east to Malaysia, China and Japan. 

RUBIACEAE 

Psychotria (700, mostly warm regions): nilgiriensis var. nilgiriensis , shrub to small tree, at higher elevations, 
on Doddabetta, common in sholas and spreading from their borders on to the downs; restricted to South Indian 
mountains. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



SAPINDACEAE 

Dodonaea (60, widespread in tropics and subtropics, especially Australia): viscosa var. angustifolia, shrub to small 
tree, all over India, from plains high into the mountains, increasing in size with upward elevation, in shola borders and out 
onto drier grasslands. 

TERNSTROEMIACEAE 

Ternstroemia (100, in the tropics): japonica, common, evergreen tree to shrub, in sholas and their borders, but also a 
shade tree on open grassland; in parts of the Western Ghats, but not in the Palnis or Maharashtra, also in mountains from 
Khasi Hills to Sumatra, China and Japan. 

Out from shola borders, there may be varied mixes of fringe (forest-grassland ecotone) species and shola species to produce a true 
SAVANNA (SABANA) WITH TREES WELL REPRESENTED. HOWEVER, AN ABRUPT SHIR FROM SHOLA FRINGE TO GRASSLAND IS CHARACTERISTIC OF NlLGIRI VEGETATION, 
AND SAVANNAS THUS TEND TO BE LIMITED IN AREAL EXTENT. WHEN ANNUAL FIRINGS OF LANDSCAPES WERE PREVALENT, FIRE (AND ATTENDANT DEGENERATION OF 
DAMAGED TREES THROUGH DISEASE) TENDED TO SLOWLY DESTROY TREE SPECIES UNTIL GRASSLAND DOMINATED. BECAUSE RHODODENDRONS WERE SUCH EXCEPTIONAL 
PYROPHYTES, THEY OFTEN BECAME LONE SENTINELS ON THE GRASSLANDS. T HEY COULD EVEN SURVIVE WHEN OVER EIGHTY PERCENT OF THEIR TRUNK DIAMETERS WERE 
BURNED AWAY BY FLAMES. WlTH THE ELIMINATION OF ANNUAL FIRINGS, SAVANNAS OF LIMITED AREAL EXTENT MAY RAPIDLY DEVELOP INTO SHOLAS. 

SHOLA SPECIES 
ACANTHACEAE 

Strobilanthes luridus, extensive straggling giant shrub to 6 m tall, remarkable lurid purple to blue, sometimes white, 
flowers in erect spikes to 25 cm long — at bases, lateral on old wood, flowering every year, forming dense undergrowth in 
sholas, widespread from Coonoor (Lamb's Rock road) to Naduvattam and Sispara, also in Palnis; micranthus , giant shrub 
to 10 m tall, with thick branches, stems so soft as to be almost herbaceous, large leaves, dark purple flowers, periods to 
dying off 15 years(?), within higher sholas (most likely seen in Governor’s Shola and near Ootacamund), also in Palnis; 
perrottetianus , large shrub, soft with red-purple hairs, pale blue-pink or lilac flowers, dies in 10 year periods (?), Coonoor, 
Doddabetta, Pykara and Sispara down to the Ouchterlony Valley, not in the Palnis. 

AQUIFOLIACEAE 

Ilex denticulata, Nilgiri Holly, sometimes a large tree, common in sholas; only in mountains of South India and Sri 

Lanka. 

ARACEAE 

Arisaema (150, East Africa, tropical Asia, Atlantic North America to Mexico): leschenaultii, Common Cobra Flower, 
herb, in shady and cool places, thus mostly in sholas, Western Ghats; tortuosum, Rat’s-tail Cobra Flower, widespread herb, 
in shade, mountains of India, from Shimla southward. 

ARALIACEAE 

Pentapanex (15, Himalaya to Taiwan, Java, Australia, South America): leschenaultii , well-branched tree or shrub, 
occasionally epiphytic, at higher elevations, widespread from Western Ghats to Himalaya, Burma and western China. 

Schefflera (200, tropics and subtropics, including cloud forests): racemosa, medium-sized tree, common, often near 
streams, only in the Indian Peninsula and Sri Lanka. 

BALSAMINACEAE 

Impatiens campanulatus, shrub to 1.5 m high, white flowers with red throats, sometimes forming clumps on floor in 
very moist and shady places, also grows where water drips on rocks, near Coonoor — only in the Western Ghats, Palnis as 
well; fruticosa, erect, much branched shrub to 2.5 m tali, pink flowers with long spurs to 4 cm, particularly near streams 
within sholas, widely distributed from Coonoor to Kotagiri, Bikkapatti, Ebanad, Pykara and Naduvattam — Western Ghats, 
not the Palnis; latifolia, a herb up to 50 cm tall, grooved stems, deep rose to purple flowers, on moist shaded ground within 
sholas, also doing well next to streams, widespread from Doddabetta to Coonoor and Naduvattam — only in Sri Lanka and 
mountains of the Indian Peninsula; modesta, Sweet Seventeen, small herb, mauve-pink flowers, in shaded interiors, 
Pykara and Naduvattam — restricted to portions of the Western Ghats, not the Palnis; pusilla, small herb, only 10 to 17 cm 
high, flowers white with purple marks, widely distributed, from Doddabetta to Naduvattam, Mudimund and Bangihalla, highly 
variable, distinct form rosmarinifolia being bushier with broader leaves and greenish thin flowers, in contrast to the commoner 
form with longer and narrower leaves — only in southern Western Ghats, not the Palnis; scabriuscula, small herb, only 10 
to 26 cm tall, branched from the base, white to pink flowers, no vestige of a spur, Naduvattam, Pykara and Sholur — from 
South Canara and Coorg to the Wynaad and upper Nilgiris only. 



50 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER N1LGIRIS 



Like some orchids, there are balsams which prefer to live on rocks, e.g. Impatiens acaulis, small herb with stems 
from 5 to 30 cm, pink or white flowers to 4 cm wide, on wet rocks in western escarpment zone, Naduvattam to Sispara, near 
Avalanche and in the Kundahs, the Nilgiris and also Shevaroys below Shevaroyan; scapiflora, small herb with flowers near 
the top of the stem and leaves from the base, pink flowers, on wet rocks, widespread from Pykara to Mudimund and along 
the western escarpment south from Naduvattam — only in the Western Ghats, not Palnis. 

CAPRIFOLIACEAE 

Viburnum punctatum, small evergreen tree, white to light yellow flowers, common in lower parts of the Upland Island, 
not Ootacamund but lower downs to the west, Western Ghats from Karnataka south, Palnis as well 

CELASTRACEAE 

Euonymus (176, with greatest numbers in the Himalaya, China and Japan): crenulatus , Spindle Tree or shrub, 
common near ground in shola interiors, especially near Pykara, red flowers at lower and pink flowers at higher altitudes. 

Microtropis (70, Indo-Malaya to China, Mexico and Central America): microcarpa , shrub to tree, Ootacamund to Kotagiri, 
Western Ghats and Palnis; ramiflora, medium-sized evergreen tree, common, excellent for shola regeneration, also in Sri 
Lanka. 

COMPOSITAE 

Vernonia (1000, America, Africa, Asia and Australia, very common in grassy areas): conyzoides, herb, in Ootacamund 
and at higher levels; monasis, tree, conspicuous in April and May when its abundant flowers give off a scent; pectiniformis, 
common shola shrub, from Ootacamund to the Kundahs. 

CRUCIFERAE 

Cardamine (160, cosmopolitan, but chiefly temperate): africana, small perennial herb, common on shady and moist 
shola floors, higher mountains of Sri Lanka and India; in tropical mountains of Africa, Asia and America. 

CYATHEACEAE 

Cyathea (600, tropical and subtropical regions, but especially in mountains of wet tropics): schmidiana and spinulosa, 
two representative tree ferns living in the Nilgiris, typically in moist, darker shola interiors; the first recorded at Avalanche, 
Coonoor, Kilkotagiri and Ootacamund, the second at Bikkapattimund and Coonoor 

ELAEOCARPACEAE 

Elaeocarpus (200, from Indo-Malaya to East Asia, Australia and into the Pacific; in tropical cloud-forests as well): 
glandulosus , Nilgiri Mock-olive Tree, often planted near villages, edible green fruit, in mid-level evergreen forests at Coonoor 
and Kotagiri, example of a species growing at subtropical mountain levels; munronii, Stately Tree, dark green fruit, Coonoor 
Sholurmattam, Naduvattam, Kinnakorai, i.e., lower portions of the Upland Island; recurvatus, tree, dark green fruit, common 
within sholas from Doddabetta to Avalanche and Mukerti. 

ERICACEAE 

Vaccinium (400, mainly temperate North Hemisphere, but also in tropical mountains, in South Africa but not the rest 
of Africa, Madagascar): leschenaultii, common shola tree with purple young leaves in April and May, only in mountains of Sri 
Lanka and South India. 

EUPHORBIACEAE 

Macaranga (280, tropics, Madagascar, Indo-Malaya to Australia and Pacific, many species having hollow stems 
inhabited by ants): indica, tree, another mid-level evergreen species, Devala and Sholurmattam, fast growing and often in 
secondary forest, scattered from Sikkim to the Nilgiris. 

FLACOURTIACEAE 

Hydnocarpus (40, Indo-Malaya to Australia): alpina, tree in dense mid-level evergreen forest, dark green to almost 
black foliage and brilliant red young leaves, often forming solid stands in moist valleys, as in forest below Coonoor. 

ICACINACEAE 

Nothapodytes (4, Sri Lanka to Taiwan and western Malaysia): nimmoniana, common in higher sholas everywhere, 
compact shrub to tree, excellent for shola regeneration; Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, Nilgiris, Palnis, also Assam, Burma to 
Thailand and Taiwan. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



51 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



LAURACEAE 

Actinodaphne (65, Indo-Malaya and East Asia): salicina , small evergreen tree, in Sispara area and Kundahs. 

Cinnamomum (250, Indo-Malaya to East Asia; tropical cloud forests as well): wightii, large and tall shola tree, brown 
flowers, coppery new growth, common, from Doddabetta to Kollimund; only in Western Ghats, Palnis as well. 

Cryptocarya (250, tropical, except Central Africa and subtropics): lawsoni, widespread in higher sholas, stout tree in 
the Kundahs; mostly in Western Ghats and not in the Palnis. 

Litsaea (400, warm Asia and to Korea, Japan; Australia and America): quinqueflora, small tree, scattered in sholas, 
Avalanche to Coonoor and Sholurmattam; wightiana, large evergreen tree, everywhere in higher sholas, young leaves 
reddish, later develop characteristic galls; both species confined to the Indian Peninsula, Palnis as well. 

Persea (150, tropics): macrantha, large tree, leaves often with characteristic galls, black to dark green fruit, widespread 
in lower sholas, to 2,100 m, Coonoor and below; Eastern Ghats, Palnis to Ashambu Hills. 

Phoebe (70, Indo-Malaya, tropical America and West Indies; tropical cloud forests as well): wightii, common tree in 
higher sholas, sometimes a dominant, fresh foliage copper coloured, flowers and fruit all year; southern Indian hills, 
including the Palnis. 

MAGNOLIACEAE 

Michelia (50, tropical Asia and China): nilagihca, common tree, widespread in higher sholas, beautiful cream-coloured 
and fragrant flowers in August-September, Kotagiri to Ootacamund and the Kundahs; southernmost mountains, including 
the Palnis. 

MELIOSMACEAE [= SABIACEAE] 

Meliosma (100, warm Asia and America; in tropical cloud forests as well): pinnata subsp. amottiana, deciduous tree 
in borders, 12 m tall in shola interiors but only 6 m on open grasslands, cream coloured flowers with a sweet honey smell 
- en masse and covering trees when in bloom, Ebanad to Ootacamund and Sispara Ghat, also in mid-level evergreen 
forests near Coonoor, Kotagiri and Pykara; simplicifolia subsp. pungens, Spiraea Tree, widespread evergreen, higher 
elevation replacement of the prior species, usually small, but larger in shola interiors, cream coloured fragrant flowers; both 
only in Western Ghats, Palnis as well. 

MYRSINACEAE 

Myrsine (7, Azore, Africa to China): wightiana, common tree in higher sholas, usually small but occasionally large; 
Western Ghats, Nilgiris and Palnis, also in Nepal, Bhutan, Assam and the Khasi hills. 

MYRTACEAE 

Syzygium (500, palaeotropical): cumini, wild tree and sometimes cultivated for its fruit, at lower, elevations, in sholas 
near Coonoor and Kotagiri, fruit gathered and sold, also spread from Indo-Malaya to Australia; densifiorum, common tall 
tree, sometimes dominant, Nilgiris, Palnis and Shevaroys; calophyllifolium, only in Nilgiris and on Adam’s Peak in Sri 
Lanka, mainly over higher western Nilgiris, one of the largest shola trees, eventually [at over 18 m] an emergent; montanum, 
numbered among the largest of shola trees, widespread. 

OLEACEAE 

Ligustrum ( c . 50, Europe to northern Iran, East Asia, Indo-Malaya to New Guinea and Australia): perrottetii, small 
evergreen tree, Kotigiri, Kalhatti to Upper Bhavani; only Nilgiris, Palnis and Shevaroys. 

ORCHIDACEAE 

Nilgiri orchids are herbaceous plants that may be terrestrial (rooted in the ground), sometimes requiring shade far in 
the interiors of sholas, or epiphytic (roots supported by host shrubs or trees, but not exploiting them for sustenance). 
Epiphyte orchids often do well amidst mosses on branches that are moistened or even drenched by incoming clouds and 
mist, thus living in what are generally called cloud forests. Some species of terrestrial or epiphytic orchids also occupy 
exposed rock surfaces. Few people realize that it is in rainy periods during the westerly monsoon and the reverse monsoon, 
reaching a climax in some areas during September, that many flowering orchids present magnificent floral displays that are 
beyond imagination in the dry period. What seems barren and colourless then has vividly coloured palettes inspiring awe 
and reverence after the rains have come. The Nilgiri Upland Island has a host of orchids, only the related genera of these 
orchids will in their international distribution be covered under three corresponding headings: 1) terrestrial orchids, 
2) epiphytic orchids, and 3) orchid genera having at least one species that may inhabit rock surfaces. 



52 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Terrestrial Orchids: Anoectochilus (25, tropical Asia, Australia, Polynesia); Brachycorythis (32, tropical and South Africa, 
tropical Asia); Calanthe (120, warm parts of the world); Cheirostylis (22, tropical Africa, Asia, Pacific); Coeloglossum (2, temperate 
Asia, North America); Cymbidium (40, tropical Asia, Australia); Disperis (75, tropical and South Africa, Indo-Malaya); Eulophia 
(200, pantropic); Habenaria (600, tropical and warm countries, Old and New Worlds); Pachystoma (11, China, Indo-Malaya, 
North Australia, New Caledonia); Pecteilis (4, Indo-Malaya, East Asia); Peristylus (60, China, Taiwan, India to Australia, Polynesia); 
Satyrium (115, tropical Africa and South Africa, Indo-Malaya, Tibet, and China); Seidenfia (300, cosmopolitan, except New 
Zealand); and Spiranthes (25, cosmopolitan, except Central and tropical South America, tropical and South Africa). 

Epiphytic Orchids: Aerides (40, India, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, not New Guinea); Bulbophyllum (900, tropical and 
temperate Southern Hemisphere); Cirrhopetalum (70, tropical Africa, Indo-Malaya to Tahiti), Coelogyne (200, West China, 
Indo-Malaya, Pacific); Cymbidium (see above); Dendrobium (1,400, tropical Asia to Australia and Polynesia); Diplocentrum 
(2, only in India); Ena (3.75, tropical Asia, Australia, Polynesia); Gastrochilus (20, India, East Asia, West Malaysia); Liparis 
(250, cosmopolitan, except New Zealand); Luisia (30, tropical Asia to Japan and Polynesia); Oberonia (330, palaeotropical); 
Porpax (10, India into Thailand); Robiquetia (20, India, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, to Solomons and Fiji); Schoenorchis (20, 
China, Indo-Malaya, Solomons, Fiji); Sirhookera (27, probably only 1, India, Sri Lanka); Thrixspermum (100, Indo-Malaya, 
Southeast Asia to Taiwan, Australia and Polynesia); Trias (6, India, Southeast Asia); Trichoglottis (60, Taiwan, Indo-Malaya, 
Polynesia); Vanda (60, China, Indo-Malaya, Mariana Islands). 

Orchid Genera with atleast one species that may inhabit Rock Surfaces: Aerides, Coelogyne, Cymbidium, 
Gastrochilus, Habenaria, Schoenorchis, Vanda. 

Orchids Living Within Sholas: Aerides ringens, Rose Tree Orchid, always in shade, pink flowers before the westerly 
monsoon, all over the Nilgiris; Western Ghats. 

Calanthe sylvatica, Ground Orchid, deep purple flowers, in deep shade, widespread to above 2,000 m, eastern Africa 
to Western Ghats, including the Palnis, Himalaya eastward to Japan; triplicata, Big Wood Orchid, ground orchid with tall 
racemes of white flowers, in deep shade, sometimes common and forming large patches, Kotagiri and Kodanad, in 
Longwood Shola, Coonoor and Doddabetta to Avalanche and Naduvattam, Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, Palnis, to Malaya, 
Australia and the Pacific. 

Cheirosotylis flabellata, Small Ground Orchid with white flowers, lover of shade, where there is decaying organic 
matter, common on Snowdon, near Ootacamund, Coonoor to Kalhatti and Pakasuramalai; Sri Lanka and southern India, 
including the Palnis. 

Cirrhopetalum gamblei, flowers are yellow-green with purple spots, epiphyte in the Kundahs and Naduvattam, near 
western escarpment, Kalhatti, Naduvattam and Pakasuramalai; Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, also the Palnis. 

Coelogyne nervosa, Lesser Plantain Ground Orchid, white flowers, Coonoor to Sispara, Kotagiri to Ootacamund 
and Naduvattam; odoratissima, Sweet-scented Plantain Ground Orchid, yellow flowers, commonly growing in dense masses 
on trees, widespread, Doddabetta to Avalanche, Bangitapal and Lakkadi; Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, but not in the 
Palnis. 

Dendrobium nanum, epiphyte with white flowers, in Naduvattam area, Western Ghats. 

Disperis neilgherrensis, ground orchid with purple flowers, Coonoor and Ootacamund to Avalanche and Naduvattam; 
South India generally, extinct in the Palnis? 

Eria nana, especially common on tree boughs with damp moss, transparent flowers, on slopes of Snowdon near 
Ootacamund, to Avalanche and Naduvattam, in Western Ghats and Palnis; polystachya, pale yellow flowers, Devarshola 
and Naduvattam; reticosa, orange yellow flowers with white tips, common in sholas, Coonoor and Kodanad to Ootacamund 
and Pykara; last two are epiphytes in Sri Lanka and Western Ghats, but not in the Palnis. 

Eulophia spectabilis, large ground orchid with leaf blades 30 to 40 cm long, yellow flowers, in the Catherine Falls 
valley; tropical Himalaya to Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, eastward to Indonesia and New Guinea. 

Gastrochilus acaulis, green-blotched purple flowers, epiphyte near Kotagiri and in the Catherine Falls valley; Sri 
Lanka, Western Ghats, Palnis as well. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



53 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Liparis atropurpurea , epiphyte in darkened interiors, dark purple flowers, higher elevations, Pykara, Avalanche, 
Mukerti and the Kundahs — Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, Palnis; elliptica , epiphyte in shade, ascending white, green 
or yellow flowers, Kotagiri and Doddabetta — Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, Palnis, Nepal eastward to Indonesia and 
Taiwan. 

Oberonia brunoniana, pale yellow flowers, from Ootacanuind to Pykara, Naduvattam and Bangitapal; platycaulon, 
white or pale yellow flowers, Mukerti Peak area and in the Kundahs, Ootacamund to Naduvattam; verticillata, light orange 
flowers, common, Bikkapattimund, Pykara to Avalanche: wightiana, common on trees, sometimes forming dense masses, 
pale yellow-green flowers, all over the higher Nilgiris; all are epiphytes, Western Ghats, Palnis as well, two latter species 
also in Sri Lanka. 

Pecteilis gigantea. Robust Ground Orchid, to over a metre tall, fragrant white flowers, Ootacamund to Nadgani; tropical 
Flimalaya to Western Ghats, Palnis as well, and as far as China. 

Seidenfia densiflora, in deep shade, purple flowers, from Kotagiri and Ootacamund to Pykara and Bison Swamp; 
rheedii , Common Ground Orchid, thriving on humus in deep shade, yellow to rusty flowers, in the Naduvattam area; both 
ground orchids, Sri Lanka, Western Ghats, Palnis as well, and Indian Peninsula. 

PEPEROMIACEAE 

Peperomia (over 1000, tropics and subtropics, especially America, many being epiphytes): tetraphylla, Pepper-elder, 
abundant, small epiphytic herb on branches, often amidst mosses and in shade, Coonoor, Kotagiri, Pykara and Upper 
Bhavani; Himalaya, Khasi Hills and into Burma, China, Australia, Africa and America. 

PIPERACEAE 

Piper (2000, tropical): mullesua, Ootacamund, common in Longwood Shola, near Kotagiri; schmidtii, Toda Pepper, 
prefers shade like the others, in sholas near Ootacamund, widespread; wightii, Coonoor and lower places; wild pepper 
species, rooting in host trees as vines spread upwards, Western Ghats. 

PITTOSPORACEAE 

Pittosporum (150, tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific): neelgherrense, 
small tree, widespread; tetraspermum, Common Yellow Sticky-seed, small tree, widespread; Western Ghats, Palnis as well 

RANUNCULACEAE 

Ranunculus (400, cosmopolitan, temperate and cold regions, tropical mountains): wallichianus, Common Buttercup, 
gregarious herb spreading by runners, in moist and shaded ground, especially within shola interiors, flowers orange to 
yellow, Kotagiri, Ootacamund and Naduvattam; only in hills of southern India and Sri Lanka. 

RHAMNACEAE 

Rhamnus virgatus, Indian Buckthorn, normally erect but a spiny and stunted shrub iri dry places, a part of forest 
undergrowth, widespread; southern India, temperate Himalaya and to western China. 

ROSACEAE 

Fragaria (15, North America, Chile, Eurasia and South India): nilgerrensis, White Strawberry, white to yellow flowers, 
common in shady places, mainly sholas, Kotagiri to Ootacamund, Pykara and Upper Bhavani; India, eastern Himalaya to 
western China. 

Photinia lindleyana , Lindley’s Rowan, small tree with crooked branches, Ootacamund, Pykara and the Kundahs, not 
in Palnis. 

RUBIACEAE 

Ixora (400 sp , tropical) notoniana , short and slender tree, white tinged with pink to red flowers, common from inner 
darkened parts to shola borders, widespread over lower parts of the Upland Island; only in mountains of extreme southern 
India. 



Lasianthus (150, Indo-Malaya; 15 sp., trop. Africa): acuminatus, shrub, like coffee bushes, to 6 m from shola floor, 
abundant and sometimes dominant, widespread with distribution paralleling that of the following species: venulosis , well- 
branched shrub, common in the shade of trees, sometimes dominant, yellow white flowers, widespread and into highest 
areas as well; both only in the mountains of extreme southern India. 



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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Pavetta (400, palaeotropical) breviflora, small tree to shrub, to 8 m tall, white flowers, undergrowth on shola floors, 
widespread in higher areas; only in Western Ghats 

Psychotria (700, mostly warm regions); bisulcata , shrub, starry green flowers, in shade, next to Lamb’s Rock Road, 
Kodanad and widespread, to tops of peaks; glandulosa , large shrub to small tree, green-white flowers, in shade, widespread 
but at lower elevations; both only in the Western Ghats. 

RUTACEAE 

Euodia (45, tropical Africa, Asia, Australia and Pacific): lunur-ankenda, small tree, yellow-green flowers, everywhere in 
sholas, in places to high elevations; Sri Lanka, southern Indian hills, Khasi Hills and east to Java. 

Toddalia (1, tropical Africa, Madagascar, tropical Asia): asiatica var. floribunda, rambling woody climber, as thick as a 
human arm at ground level, twigs armed with curved prickles, cream coloured flowers, common in sholas, Coonoor, Pykara 
to the Kundahs; widely in India and to China and Java. 

SAPOTACEAE 

Isonandra (10, Sri Lanka, southern India, Malay Peninsula, Borneo): perrottetiana, tree, yellow and fragrant flowers, 
locally abundant in sholas at higher elevations, particularly in the Kundahs; confined to Western Ghats. 

Xantolis (100, Tropics): tomentosa , tree with thorns, cream coloured flowers, sometimes a dominant in sholas, 
flushing a blaze of scarlet when leaves are young in December; var elongioides, over a wide elevation range, from Sirur to 
Ootacamund, confined to southern India. 

STAPHYLEACEAE 

Turpinia (about 35, Sri Lanka, Indo-Malaya to Japan, central and tropical South America): nepalensis , one of the 
commonest shola trees, sometimes dominant, small pale yellow to cream coloured flowers, sometimes part of a substorey 
but also an emergent, all over and thriving in the higher elevations, ideal for shola regeneration; Western Ghats, southeast 
Himalaya, Assam, Burma to Malaya, Yunnan in China. 

SYMPLOCACEAE 

Symplocos (350, tropical and subtropical, Asia into Australia, Polynesia and America, often at higher altitudes): 
foliosa, tree with smooth grey bark and silky young leaves, white flowers, mainly in higher western sholas from Doddabetta 
to Pykara and Avalanche — only in Western Ghats and into southern Kerala; laurina, a carpet of yellow leaves below the 
small tree or shrub reveal its presence in a shola, white flowers with a yellow tinge, mainly east of Doddabetta and into mid- 
level evergreen forests near Coonoor and Kotagiri — South India mountains and from Sikkim to the Khasi Hills and on to 
China, Japan and Australia; obtusa. moderate sized to large tree, white flowers, around Doddabetta and over the higher 
southwestern Kundahs, only on southern Indian hills 

TERNSTROEMIACEAE 

Eurya (130, Indo-Malaya to East Asia, and into the Pacific): nitida, perhaps a shrub near Ootacamund, but also a large 
interior shola tree, white flowers, common over higher areas; mountains in Sri Lanka, India and to Southeast Asia, China 
and Japan. 

THEACEAE 

Gordonia (40, Indo-Malaya to Taiwan; 1 sp. in southeastern US): obtusa, moderate-sized evergreen tree; beautiful 
large cream to white flowers with many yellow stamens in middle, reminding one of tea flowers, showy, forming carpets on 
ground below when falling; fairly common and especially near water, Ootacamund — in the swamp below Havelock Road 
and in sholas on the downs, Coonoor and Pykara, but more common east of Doddabetta; only in Western Ghats, Palnis as 
well. 

THYMELEACEAE 

Gnidia (100, tropical Africa and South Africa, Madagascar, southwestern Arabia, western portion of Indian Peninsula 
and Sri Lanka): glauca, well-branched shrub or small tree, yellow flowers, in Nilgiri sholas, widespread, with considerable 
elevation range, but more common in the lower parts of the Upland Island; var. stsparensis, shrub, mainly the Kundahs, 
Palghat Hills just to the south of the Nilgiris, Ebanad - Sirur and into old Mysore just to the north; widely ranging in Sri Lanka, 
peninsular India and in Africa, from Malawi to Ethiopia, the Sudan and Mozambique. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. ( 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



55 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



URTICACEAE 

Chamabaina (2, Indo-Malaya to Taiwan): cuspidata herb with male and female flowers, flowering in August, uncommon, 
only from Naduvattam to Terrace Estate and along the western escarpment with moist sholas, also on moist ground next to 
streams. 

Droguetia (12, tropical Africa and South Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, South India, Java): iners subsp. urticoides , herb, 
cream flowers green-tinged throughout the year, gregarious, forming dense mats in moist and shady places on ground 
within shoals, widespread and in highest areas; mountains of South India and Java. 

Elatostema (200, tropics, Old World): acuminatum, in gorge opposite Bangitapal bungalow, also Coonoor and Sispara, 
Sri Lanka, South India, Khasi Hills into Malaya; lineolatum, Naduvattam and western escarpment to Sispara, Sri Lanka, 
South India, tropical Himalaya to Khasi Hills; sessile, in sholas from Ootacamund to Coonoor, Naduvattam and Avalanche 

— southern India, Himalaya, from Chamba to Sylhet (Bangladesh) and much farther eastward to Malaya and Japan, also 
tropical Africa; surculosum, sometimes epiphytic on tree trunks, widespread form Coonoor to Doddabetta and Naduvattam 
to Avalanche — Sri Lanka, southern India, Himalaya from Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) to Nagaland; all four are herb to 
undershrub species, with cream flowers, thriving in deep shade within moist evergreen sholas and on moistened rocks in 
stream valleys. 

Girardinia (8, tropical Africa, Madagascar, Indo-Malaya, East Asia): palmata, Nilgiri Nettle, herb to shrub, spreading on 
ground in shade, avoid long stinging hairs on leaves, flowers also armed with numerous stinging hairs, widespread and 
common, Kotagiri, Coonoor and Ootacamund to Naduvattam; confined to hills of extreme southern India. 

Laportea (23, tropical and subtropical, South Africa, Madagascar, temperate East Asia, eastern North America): 
crenulata, Elephant or Fever or Devil Nettle, stout shrub to small tree with soft stems, bark white and smooth with fibres 
useful for cordage, sting from hairs on leaves very painful and lasting, more so when plant is flowering, sometimes also 
induces violent sneezing and fever — only in Western Ghats(?); terminalis, Milder Stinging Nettle, herb in deep shade, 
locally abundant, green-white flowers, stingers on stems and leaves, Kotagiri, Ootacamund to Naduvattam and Avalanche 

— in mountains of Sri Lanka, South India, Kumaon to Bhutan in the Himalaya, Tibet and to Malaysia and Central China. 

Lecanthus (1 tropical Africa, 1 Indo-Malaya into East Asia, 1 Fiji): peduncularis, low-lying succulent herb, in moist and 
shaded places, Ootacamund to Pykara and Naduvattam; Africa, India, Southeast Asia, into Java, southern China and 
Taiwan. 

Pilea (400, Tropics): wightii, Soft Nettle, annual or perennial herb forming mats on deeply shaded evergreen shola 
floors, without stinging hairs, flowers cream with green tinge, locally abundant, highest areas Doddabetta and Bikkapattimund; 
Sri Lanka, southern Indian hills, temperate Himalaya and mountains to Java. 



56 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Appendix 3: Nilgiri Endemic Species and Endemic Varieties 

Based upon listings or first descriptions in Abraham and Mehrotra (1982); Balasubramanian (1972); Bhargavan 
and Mohanan (1982); Blasco (1970); Fyson (1932); Gamble (1967); Henry, Vivekananthan, and Nair (1978); 
Joseph and Vajravelu (1981); Karunakaran (1991); Manilal and Kumar (1984 a,b); Mohanan and Balakrishnan 
(1991); Nair (1991); Nair etal. (1982); Nayar(1980); Rathakrishnan and Chithra (1984); Shetty and Vivekananthan 
(1981); Subbha Rao and Kumari (1975); Subbha Rao, Kumari, and Chandrasekharan (1973); and Vajravelu, 
Rathakrishnan, and Bhargavan (1983). 

MH = Madras Herbarium, Coimbatore; CNH = Central National Herbarium, Kolkata (= Calcutta). 

(*) Endemic to the Kundah hills in the western Nilgiris (+) Nilgiri endemics elsewhere which also live in the 
Kundahs 

ACANTHACEAE 

*Andrographis lawsoni Gamble, low shrubs in grassland, dark brownish-purple flowers, fairly common; Upper Bhavani 
to Bangihalla, Toda hamlet of Koshti, 2,000-2,300 m. 

Andrographis lobeloides Wt., procumbent herb, small leaves, large brown flowers; fairly common on grassland, 
Coonoor and Ootacamund to Pykara, 1,800-2,400 m. 

Andrographis stellulata Cl., erect herb, leaves stigose above and tomentose below, pale pink flowers, rare, at about 
1,800 m. 

+Strobilanthes amabalis Cl., sticky shrub, pink flowers, (?)10-year period, fairly common, 1,000-1,800 m. 
+Strobilanthes lanatum Nees, beautiful erect shrub, green parts covered with yellow wool, pale blue flowers, dying-off 
intervals of perhaps 6 or 7 years, on higher Kundah grasslands, spectacular in spreading out on to sheer rocky cliffs of the 
western escarpment, Ootacamund to Sispara. 

+Strobilanthes papillosus T. Anders., large shrub with big blue flowers, dying out periodicity unknown, only in the 
higher sholas and perhaps best known from flowerings at Doddabetta and Sispara in 1883, now rare. 

+Strobilanthes wightianus Nees, low gregarious shrub, pale blue flowers every year, fairly common, 1,800- 
2,400 m. 

+Strobilanthes sessilis Nees var. sessiloides Wt., small undershrub, flowering annually or at short intervals throughout 
the year, mauve flowers, 2,000-2,600 m. 

*Strobilanthes violacea, large shrub with beautiful blue to purple flowers, common but rarely in bloom and therefore 
believed to have long periods (13 years?) before dying out, only thriving within the highest sholas and on grasslands near 
Bangitappal and Sispara (in MH). 

*Thunbergia bicolor { Wt.) Lindau, large climber, little known, Sispara Ghat, c. 1,500 m. 

APIACEAE 

+Heracleum hookerianum Wt. & Am., large herb with leaves on the ground, fairly common on grasslands, Snowdon 
to Avalanche. 

AQUIFOLIACEAE 

*//ex gardneriana Wt., Sispara Ghat, a scarce shrub or small tree, at c.1,800 m (no specimen in MH). 

ARACEAE 

*Arisaema translucens Fisch., herb, Thaishola, at c. 1,600 m (in MH). 

Arisaema tuberculatum Fisch., rare and virtually unknown, 2,100-2,250 m. 

+Arisaema tylophorum Fisch., fairly common, 1,800 m and above. 

ARALIACEAE 

*Schefflera rostrata Harms., shrub to large tree in sholas, fairly common, above 2,100 m. 

ASCLEPIADACEAE 

+Baeolepis nervosa (Wt. and Am.) Decne, climbing undershrub, the only endemic genus of the Nilgiri montane flora 
and the only species in the genus, fairly common; easterly Nilgiris, in forests below Coonoor and from Wellington to Kotagiri 
and Kodanad, 1,500-2,250 m. 

Caralluma nilagiriana Kumari and Subbha Rao, between Ebanad and Anaikatti, near 900 m. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



ASPLENIACEAE 

Asplenium exiguum Bedd., fern collected from the river bank above Kalhatty Falls (1,100 m), in c.1860 by Beddome, 
later collected again on rocks close to the original site; also found on way to Adaripatti, at 1500 m. 

BALSAM IN AC EAE 

+lmpatiens clavicornu Turcz, white orchid balsam, small herb to c. 30 cm high, single stem and leaves from the base, 
white flowers, sometimes abundant in the grasses of the downs, flowering July to September with monsoonal rains, like so 
many of the balsams and orchids; widespread, Coonoor to Doddabetta, Pykara and Mudimund, 1,800-2,400 m. 

Impatiens cuspidata Wt., well-branched shrub, often over I m tall, stem and branches covered with blue-white powder, 
pale pink flowers, common alongside Lamb’s Rock Road from Coonoor, widely distributed within sholas to Kodanad and 
Sispara, 1,500-2,100 m; also, according to Dr. Tarun Chhabra, “a variety with brighter pink flowers in the Sispara area." 

Impatiens debilis Turcz., herb with small pink flowers, rare; rediscovered lately by Chhabra in the Sispara area. 

*lmpatiens denisonii Bedd., herb, pink flowers, on wet rocks, Sispara Ghat, rare, 900-1,500 m; rediscovered by 
Chhabra in 2002. 

*lmpatiens laticornis Fisch., very small herb to 15 cm tall, white flowers with yellow to orange hairs or pink with 
magenta hairs, to 4 cm across, now an epiphyte on wet rocks or tree trunks, still thriving best in deep shade of sholas, 
Naduvattam to Sispara and particularly in the western escarpment zone, elsewhere in Kundahs above 2,400 m, rare; 
rediscovered by Chhabra near Mukerti and in the Western Catchments, and seen by him many times over the years. 

*lmpatiens lawsoni Hook, a small herb, remarkable for surviving on wet rocks in the dense shade of wet sholas, only 
in the Kundahs, rare; “with many, many variations” according to Chhabra, who has found this species in the areas of 
Bangitappal, Mukerti and Nilgiri peaks, and in the Western Catchments. 

*lmpatiens levingei (Hook.) Gamble, small herb, with leaves and stems rising from the base, leaves nearly round, 
carmine flowers, prefers living on wet rocks, seen next to Lamb's Rock Road near Coonoor, Hulikal and slope below the 
Toda hamlet of Pishkwasht, widespread in the lower levels of the Upland Island 

* Impatiens munronii Wt., undershrub in the dense shade of sholas, sparingly branched and up to 60 cm tall, flowers 
a mixture of green, white and pink, Sispara Sholas, but Chhabra also found it past Nadgani, off the path from Bangitappal 
to Sispara, 1,500-1,900 m 

*lmpatiens neo-barnesii Fisch., most extraordinary of the balsams, having evolved into an epiphyte on moss-covered 
tree trunks and branches exposed to heavy rain and mist from Malabar, leaves and flowers hanging down, very fragile cream 
to white flowers, wing petals curled into a tube from which water drips, in deep shade of very wet sholas or scattered trees 
in the Kundahs — only in a limited portion of the western escarpment zone (start looking from near the top of Mukerti), 
typically ranging to 2,450 m, rare; more recently (1970) recorded in Nilgiri Peak R.F. and also rediscovered by Chhabra in 
2001, near Bangitappal and Pandiar, and in the Western Catchments; he notes that this species “has an earlier climax in 
flowering, in August rather than September” (no specimen in MH). 

* Impatiens nilgirica Fisch., very small herb, stem and leaves rising from base, stems from 16 to 30 cm tall, leaves 
rounded, pink flowers, in grass on the Kundahs, Avalanche to Mukerti Peak, also on rocks, up to the tops of peaks, rare; 
rediscovered by Chhabra (photograph of the flower by Chhabra on the front cover of Sanctuary , 1997, No. 2; in MH). 

+*lmpatiens orchioides Bedd., very small herb with white flowers, normally on ground in wet sholas, but occasionally 
epiphytic on a mass of branches — only at high elevations near Avalanche and in the western escarpment zone of the 
Kundahs, fairly common to 2,450 m; found by Chhabra near Mukerti, Bangitappal and in the Western Catchments. 

*lmpatiens rufescens (Wt. & Arn.) Benth., Pink Marsh Balsam, small herb, stems rising and forming clumps, rose pink 
flowers, on Wenlock Downs, banks of the Pykara River and in swamps within the downs, rare; "its range extends to the 
Mukerti area” Chhabra. 

+*lmpatiens tenella (Wt. & Arn.) Heyne, slender small herb, flat pink to rosy flowers, growing in moist sholas from 
Naduvattam and in the western escarpment zone to Sispara, at c. 1,800 m. 

BERBER IDACEAE 

Berberis nilghiriensis Ahrendt., rare and hardly known. 

CAPRIFOLIACEAE 

+ Viburnum hebanthum Wt. & Am., a small spreading tree with bright green foliage, in the same habitats as erubescens, 
often on the outskirts of sholas; known from Ootacamund to Pykara, 1,800-2,400 m. 

CELASTRACEAE 

Microtropis densiflora Wt., mostly on outer slopes of the far western Nilgiris, below Sispara and in dense forest; found 
near Pykara in 1971. 

+Microtropis ovalifolia Wt., fairly common shrub, Coonoor, Pykara, and generally near streams in the western Nilgiris, 

1,800-2,400 m. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



COMPOSITAE 

+Anaphalis neelgerryana (Sch.-Bip. ex DC) DC., low, much-branched shrub with small leaves, preferring dry and 
exposed places, fairly common, above 2,100 m. 

+Anaphalis notoniana DC., herb with thick soft leaves, fairly common; Church Hill in Ootacamand, Doddabetta, hill 
behind Avalanche, above 2,100 m. 

*Helichrysum wightii (Hook.) Cl. ex Hook., herb with woody rootstock in grasslands between Bangitappal and 
Sispara, its woolly leaves sometimes colouring the landscape a silvery white above Sispara, at about 2,200 m (Specimen 
in MH). 

*Myriactis wightii DC var. bellidioides Hook, f., scapigerous herb in grassland within the Bangitappal Valley, Bangihalla 
(in MH). 

*Senecio kundiacus Fisch., herb in grasslands, rare (no specimen in MH). 

*Senecio lawsonii Gamble, slender herb in grasslands, fairly common; Bangihalla, between Avalanche and Sispara, 
Bangitappal, Sispara; collected by Shetty at Bangihalla and Sispara after 85 years, 2,000-2,300 m (in MH). 

+Senecio lessingianus (Wt. & Am.) Cl. , in the western escarpment zone and above Neduvattam, fairly common, above 
1,800 m. 

+Senecio polycephalus (DC.) Cl., erect herb, fairly common on grasslands, Snowdon slopes, above 1,800 m. 
*Youngia nilgiriensis Babe., herb in grasslands, a more primitive species, apparently a relict, possibly ancestral type 
from which Section Meomeris arose, known from Sispara area at c. 2,060 m, rare (no specimen in MH) 

CONVOLVULACEAE 

+Argyreia nellygherya Choisy, a large climber, to 1,800 m. 

CYPERACEAE 

Ascopholis gamblei Fisch., erect herb, collected at Ootacamund, rare (no specimen in MH). 

Carex pseudo-aperta Boeck ex Kuek., at about 1,800 m, rare. 

Fimbristylis latinucifera Govindarajulu, near Pykara, at c. 1,950 m. 

ERIOCAULACEAE 

Eriocaulon pectinatum Ruhl., rare, only in the collection of Perrottet(?). 

+ Eriocaulon robustum Steud., White-tailed Hatpin Flower, Coonoor and banks of the Pykara River, mostly above 
1,500 m 

EUPHORBIACEAE 

*Glochidion sisparense Gamble, tree, Sispara, at c. 1,500 m (no specimen in MH). 

*Phyllanthus fimbriatus (Wt.) Muell. Arg., glabrous shrubs in evergreen forests, Carrington to Kinnakorai, Sispara 
Ghat, at c. 2,000 m (in MH). 

Phyllanthus megacarpa (Gamble) Kumari and Chandrabose, rare, near Devala in the Wynaad, at c. 900 m (not 
located since type collection). 

GENTIANACEAE 

+Swertia trichotoma (Wt. & Am. ex Wt.) Wall., ex. Cl. Wall., tall leafy herb, fairly common, to 2,150 m. 

GRAMINEAE (Smaller Grasses) 

Agrostis schmidii (Hook, f.) Fisch., at Ootacamund (no specimen in MH). 

Andropogon longipes Hack. 

+Andropogon polyptychus Steud., in upper Nilgiri marshes, mainly in far west. 

*Arundinella purpurea Hochst. ex Steud. var. laxa Bor, very distinct variety with long pedicels, Sispara. 

Arundinella purpurea Hochst. var. purpurea, the only aluminum accumulator in the family. 

Arundinella setosa Trin. var. nilagiriana Subbarao et Kumari, at Koilbetta, near Ebanad; like A. s. var. lanifera, but has 
hirsute glumes instead (in MH). 

+Cymbopogon polyneuros (Steud.) Stapf, Doddabetta, Mukurti, Ootacamund and Pykara, this grass contains an oil 
with a pleasant odour but is not used commercially, 1,900-2,500 m. 

Dichanthium pallidum (Hook f.) Stapf ex Fisch. (no specimen in MH). 

Eriochrysis rangacharii Fisch., fairly common near Pykara; only Indian representative of an otherwise wholly tropical 
African and American genus (in MH). 

Helictotrichon polyneurum (Hook, f.) Henr., Doddabetta, distinctive looking, fairly common, 2,400 m. 

Isachne deccanensis Bor, on downs near Ootacamund (no specimen in MH). 

Isachne oreades (Domin) Bor, only in the Gudalur Ghat area (in a swamp within woods). 

Poa gamblei Bor, fairly common, above 2,500 m. 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



GUTTIFERAE 

Hypericum japonicum Thumb, var. major Fyson, a trailing weak-stemmed herb, on western grasslands, rare (no 
specimen in MH). 

LABIATAE 

Leucas rosmarinifolia Benth., a fairly common bush with a flattop, often on roadsides, northeastward from Ootacamund, 
to Kotagiri, including the area with the Toda hamlet of Pishkwasht. 

Orthosiphon rubicundus Benth. var. hohenackeri Hook, f., a herb with many branches, at about 1,850 m. 

LAMIACEAE 

Pogostemon nilagiricus Gamble, rare, soft herbaceous plant, on outskirts of sholas and on neglected broken ground, 
from Coonoor to Lovedale and Ootacamund (no specimen in MH). 

+Pogostemon paludosus Benth., in wet places near Ootacamund and at Sispara, rare, 1,800 m and above, rare. 

+ Teucrium wightii Hook, f., fairly common, a stout-stemmed herb with thick, soft leaves, from Ootacamund to Dodabettta, 
mostly above 2,100 m. 

LAURACEAE 

Actinodaphne lanata Meisn., tree with lanceolate leaves, in sholas, 1,500-1,800 m. 

+Cinnamomum perrottetii Meisn., fairly common shrub or small tree in sholas near Bangitappal and Avalanche, 
above 1,800 m. 

LORANTHACEAE 

Dendrophthoe neelgherrensis (Wt. & Am.) Tieghem., Scarlet Loranthus, named after the dense bunches of slender 
crimson-scarlet flowers, Ootacamund to Naduvattam, 1,050-2,400 m. 

MELASTOMACEAE 

*Memecylon flavescens Gamble, tree or large shrub with many branches, in sholas near streams, Avalanche and 
Sispara; collected by Vivekananthan from the type locality after about 83 years, 2,000-2,300 m (in MH). 

Memecylon lawsoni Gamble, near Devala in southeast Wynaad, at c. 900 m (in MH). 

*Memecylon sisparense Gamble, large shrub or small tree, from Sispara Ghat, at about 1,500 m (in MH). 

+Sonerila elegans Wt., an erect herb with thick stems and mauve flowers, at Sispara and in other parts of the western 
Nilgiris, 1,800 m and above. 

MIMOSACEAE 

+ Acacia hohenackeri Craib., a climbing shrub with small recurved prickles, Coonoor, Kundahs, collected at Bimka 
Shola in 1970, rare. 

MYRSINACEAE 

*Embelia gardneriana Wt., a climbing shrub, Sispara Ghat, at about 1,600 m (in MH). 

MYRTACEAE 

*Syzygium benthamianum (Wt. ex Duthie) Gamble, small tree or large shrub, Sispara, 1,800 m (no specimen in MH). 
ORCHIDACEAE 

Eria albiflora Rolfe, pure white flowers, Ootacamund and T. R. Bazaar, 2,000-2,400 m, collected in 1899 by Barber, at 
Ootacamund, and more recently from the Nilgiris and the Silent Valley, rare (in MH). 

+Eria mysorensis Lindl., small epiphyte, white flowers tipped with pink, flowering peak in September, Kodanad shola, 
western slopes of the Nilgiris, Naduvattam, 1,800 m. 

Habenaria denticulata Reichb., very rare (no specimen in MH). 

Habenaria fimbriata Wt., white flowers, 1,500-2,100 m, rare (no specimen in MH). 

Habenaria polydon Hook., now extinct? (no specimen in MH). 

Liparus indiraii Manilal et Kumar, in Silent Valley, named after Indira Gandhi (in CNH). 

Oberonia bisaccata Manilal et Kumar, found near Research Centre, Silent Valley (in MH). 

Porpax chandrasekharanii Bhargavan et Mohanan, discovered in Silent Valley (in MH). 

+Robiquetia jospehiana Manilal & Sathish, Chembotti, Naduvattam and Silent Valley; according to Chhabra, also in 
the Sispara area. 

*Spiranthes sinensis (Pers.) Ames var wightiana Lindl., terrestrial and endangered, flowers in a dense cylindrical 
spike, in the Bangitappal to Sispara area (in MH). 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Thrixspermum muscaeflorum Rao & Jos /ar nilagiricum Jos & Vaj., very small epiphytic orchid, common on slender 
branches of small trees, near Kundah River in Tamil Nadu, first discovery of the genus in South India (in CNH and MH) 
Trias stocksii Benth. ex. Hook.f., Silent Valley and Chandanathode in the Western Ghats. 

Vanda wightii Reichb. f., the type location remains unknown, very rare (no specimen in MH). 

OXALIDACEAE 

*Biophytum polyphyllum Munro, in sholas, herb with very long leaves having minute leaflets (30 to 50 pairs), fairly 
common, above Sispara, Thaishola, Carrington to Kinnakorai, 1,800-2,200 m. 

PAPILIONACEAE 

Alysicarpus beddomei Schindl., on Pakasuramalai, at about 2,030 m, rare. 

+Crotalaria barbata (Wt. & Arn,) Grah. ex Wt. & Arn., sturdy shrub with erect flower spikes, bright yellow flowers, in 
sholas, fairly common, near Pykara and on Snowdon slopes, above 2,000 m. 

Crotalaria candicans Wt. & Arn, erect tree, 3 to 4 m tall, very leafy, regular upward-sloping branches ending in large 
panicles of pure yellow flowers, thrives on steep slopes and on the downs, creating spectacular sights with mass bloomings, 
as seen on top of Sigur Ghat in July to September, fairly common, Coonoor, Kateri, Kodanad, Kottabetta and Madinad, to 
about 1,850 m. 

+Crotalaria formosa (Wt. & Arn.) Grah., low-growing shrub with dense, short, thick flower racemes, yellow flowers, 
fairly common in sholas and on grasslands, on Snowdon slopes near Ootacamund, Doddabetta to Avalanche and Pykara, 
above 2,100 m. 

Dalbergia gardneriana Benth., fairly common, a climbing shrub with white flowers, Coonoor, Kalhatti and Sholurmattam, 
1,500-2,150 m. 

PIPERACEAE 

* Piper pykarhense C. DC., presumed found near the Pykara River, biotic disturbance due to dam building may have 
caused this species to become extinct. 

POACEAE [BAMBUSEAE = LARGER GRASSES)] 

+Arundinaria wightiana Nees var. hispida Gamble, widespread, growing’ next to shola streams at higher elevations, 
essential for final roofing phase of Toda hut construction, 2,100-2,300 m. 

Silentvalleya nairii Nair, new genus, tufted perennial grass, discovered in the Silent Valley (in MH and CNH); related to 
genera Diplachne P. Beauv., Gouinia in America and Lophacme in Africa. 

ROSACEAE 

*Photinia serratifolia (Desf.) Kalkman var. tomentosa (Gamble) Vivek and Shetty, small tree in sholas; Avalanche, 
Bangitappal, Lakkadi, toward Sispara, in the highest southwestern Kundahs; collected by Shetty from the type locality after 
80 years, 2,000-2,200 m. 

+Rubus rugosus Sm. var. thwaitesii Focke, a large prickly shrub with purple-black fruit, common on Doddabetta and 
other high elevations, often above 2,400 m. 

RUBIACEAE 

*Hedyotis hirsutissima Bedd., low-growing, shrub with stout stems and branches, in rock crevices and on southwestern 
grasslands, pale lilac flowers, fairly common, Bangitappal to Sispara and the Kundahs, collected by Shetty at type location 
after 80 years, 2,000-2,300 m (in MH). 

Hedyotis silent-valleyensis Vaj., Rath, and Bharg., on one grassy slope, Silent Valley (in MH and CNH). 

*Hedyotis sisparensis Gage, an undershrub with quadrangular branches and pale leaves, near Sispara, at about 
2,200 m, rare (no specmen in MH), 

+Lasianthus cili itus Wt., a stout shrub, with prominent leaf-nerves, in deep shade of sholas edging the western 
escarpment, also belt w Kodanad and next to Lamb’s Rock Road, to about 2,200 m (in MH). 

Ophiorrhiza ini.arnata Fisch., in pandanus swamp, near Nadgani in the Wynaad, about 900 m (no specimen 
in MH). 

Ophiorrhiza pykarensis Gamble, erect and slender undershrub with small leaves and pale blue or lilac flowers, in a 
shola at Pykara Fal's, rare, possibly extinct, about 1,900 m (not collected since the type collection). 

Pavetta breviflora DC. var. ciliolata Gamble, Coonoor, Thai Shola and Snowdon R.F 1,500-2,100 m. 

*Pavetta hohenackeri Brem., glabrous shrub near Sispara, 2,200 m, rare (no specimen in MH). 



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AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



RUTACEAE 

*Melicope indica Wt., shrub to small tree with opposite leaves, in sholas and near streams, fairly common, 
Avalanche and Kundahs, Toda hamlet of Koshti, Lakkadi (collected there by Shetty after 80 years), Sispara, 2,000- 
2,300 m. 

SYMPLOCACEAE 

*Symplocos microphylla Wt., shrub on grasslands, tree in sholas, beyond Avalanche, Kudiakad, Sispara, Upper 
Bhavani to Bangihalla, 2,000-2,300 m (in MH). 



Appendix 4: Record of Fires and Grassland Formation 



Hough 1829: 72-73. 

.... During the dry season, i.e. from December to May, they [Todas] burn the grass, which, in the darkness of the night, 
presents a grand spectacle, the sides of the entire hill being illuminated at the same time; but it greatly disfigures the 
scenery by day, as in a few hours a verdant mountain is transformed, in appearance, to a barren, sombre rock. This 
improves the grass for the buffaloes, making it coarse, and causing it to grow in tufts: but it is hereby rendered unfit for 
smaller cattle and sheep, of which, however, the Thodawurs [Todas] keep none.... 

Harkness 1832: 62. 

After nightfall, the scenery around us was grand beyond description. Much of the grass, fern and heather, being frost 
bitten and withered, the Tudas [Todas] had taken this opportunity, before the setting-in of the rains, to fire it; and many of the 
ridges of mountains now presented an undulating and apparently endless line of flame. 

Ouchterlony 1848: 56. 

.... The grass upon which they [Todas] pasture their buffaloes is of coarse rank description, fit only for those hardy and 
powerful animals; but by burning it down, as is their practice, just before the rains set in, when they are about to migrate to 
another mund [common name for a Toda hamlet], a fine tender young grass, highly nutritious as pasture, has replaced the 
ashes of the old grass by the time they return to the mund, round which they have set their fires. 

King 1870-71: 25. 

.... During the dry season — that is, from the beginning of January to the end of April — they [Todas] are in the habit of 
setting fire to the grass, with a view of promoting its better growth; another Kaffir [African name for livestock keepers] 
custom, and one, moreover, the beautiful effect of which at night will be remembered by all who have ever seen it on so large 
a scale. 

Marshall 1873: 53. 

.... Wherever, in fact, rich soil and a perennial supply of moisture may be found, there are the ever silent woods; for the 
periods of annual drought are long: the monsoon rain flows quickly off the hard surface of the exposed hills, and the 
scorched grass containing the young saplings is yearly fired. 

Duff 1876: 17 

We waited to give the weather time to reconsider itself, but in vain, and then slowly descended [down the side of 
Mukerti Peak] ... and crossing great tracts of hillside over which a fire had just passed — the wasteful custom of burning the 
surface with a view to obtain a good bite of grass being in full force here. 

Grigg 1880: 10. 

.... It is, however, to be remembered that the present park-like appearance of the higher plateau, with its down and 
woodlands, is also, in a great measure, due to the annual recurrence of fires which sweep over the hills, burning the grass 
and outlying shrub and even the smaller sholas, and checking the larger woods in their persistent efforts to extend their 
domain further along the sides of the valleys. 

Jennings 1881: 8-9. 

The country [between Ootacamund and Neduvattam] is undulating and grassy, bare of timber except in such hollow 
places as afford the necessary moisture and shelter. In these spots there are lovely groups of trees, and often a 
delicious undergrowth of ferns — veritable oases in a desert of uninteresting slopes, covered at this season with burnt-up 

grass. 



62 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS 



Francis 1908: 212. 

In the case of the Kundahs and the Downs, an exception to the usual forest rules was made, after much discussion, 
in 1905, in that the annual burning of the grass was permitted. These areas are chiefly of value as great grazing grounds; 
and it was considered that burning was essential to the production of the young green grass so desired by the grazers and 
did no appreciable harm to the sholas as long as it was done early in the year while the undergrowth and bracken in and 
round them was still green and if precautions were taken to prevent the fire from spreading to an inflammable growth which 
ran up into them. 

Champion 1935: 141. 

In the dry season in February-March the grasslands get very dry and inflammable and the greater part of them are 
burnt annually. This has happened as far back as we have any information and has unquestionably exerted a very great 
influence on the present distribution of the very fine tender evergreen forest. Burning completely stops regeneration of 
practically every tree species except Rhododendron and every fire eats in a little all along the periphery of the sholas. .. 
Grazers (Pastoralists) have occupied the plateau for a very long time and have burnt the grass for the sake of the early flush 
of new growth that follows a fire, and it is unquestionable that the forest occupies a far smaller proportion of the area than 
it once did. 

Ranganathan 1938: 527-528. 

Burning the grass is an immemorial custom of the Todas which has been officially recognized and is now being 
officially regulated. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



63 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



64-70 



STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF THE WILD BUFFALO BUBALUS BUBALIS 
IN PENINSULAR INDIA 1 

M.K. Ranjitsinh 2 , S.C. Verma 3 , S.A. Akhtar 4 , Vinod Paul 4 , K. Sivakumar 5 , S. Bhanubhakude 5 



'Accepted December, 2002 

2 ‘Krishnasar’, 5, Tiger Lane, Off W6 Lane, Sainik Farms, Near Saket, Delhi 1 10 062, India. 

3 Bastar Society for Conservation of Nature, ‘Jeevan Sadan’, Nayapara, Jagdalpur 494 001, Chhattisgarh, India. 
4 Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, S B. Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. 
Email: bnhs@bom4.vsnl.net.in 

’Wildlife Institute of India, RO. Box 18, Chandrabani, Dehra Dun 248 001, Uttaranchal, India. 



Most of the Wild Buffalo Bubalus bubalis populations in India have been genetically swamped out through 
inter-breeding with domestic populations. However, genetically pure species of the Wild Buffalo confined in 
the four protected areas especially set up for them in Peninsular India, for the last two decades, are their main 
hope. The population of the endangered Asiatic Wild Buffalo in Central India is restricted to two protected 
areas and their numbers are less than 75. The major reasons for the decline of Wild Buffalo population in 
peninsular India are agricultural encroachments, poaching, cattle grazing, insurgency and collection of non- 
timber forest produce. The population is under severe threat due to depletion of suitable swamp grassland 
habitat, large-scale poaching and communal hunting. Management interventions for long-term conservation 
of the Wild Buffalo were inadequate. Some suggestions are provided to improve the effectiveness of the 
conservation efforts in peninsular India to protect the existing populations of this species in the Indravati 
National Park and Tiger Reserve, and Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Key words: Wild Buffalo, Bubalus bubalis , conservation, Udanti Sanctuary, Indravati National Park and 
Tiger Reserve 



INTRODUCTION 

The Wild Buffalo Bubalus bubalis is one of the 
largest and highly endangered land mammals in the 
Subcontinent. In the last bastion of the Wild Buffalo, 
Assam, the population is now almost confined to four 
protected areas. In Dibru-Saikhowa and Pabha 
Sanctuaries, the few surviving animals are affected by 
genetic “swamping out” through inter-breeding with the 
domestic buffalo; the population in Kaziranga has also 
been affected. There is a marked deterioration in size 
of the Wild Buffalo here in the last four decades, further 
confirmed by the markedly less pronounced occurrence 
of the characteristics which distinguish the wild from 
the domestic (Ranjitsinh 1997). In Manas, the laxity of 
control due to terrorist incursions in the past decade has 
resulted both in the reduction of numbers and in genetic 
swamping out in the much more numerous southern 
population, which will inevitably have an effect upon 
the rest of the herds in the adjacent central part of the 
Reserve — the Uchila Range and along the Manas- 
Beki River. 

The main hope for genetically pure Wild Buffalo, 
therefore, lies in the peninsular population that has been 
confined for the last two decades in the four protected 
areas especially set up for them in Chhattisgarh -Udanti 
Sanctuary, Bhairamgarh Sanctuary, Pamed Sanctuary 
and the Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve. 



Genetic swamping out has not occurred here for 
various reasons - vast, very thinly populated malaria - 
infected forests, where tribals traditionally did not keep 
domestic buffaloes for fear of the female buffaloes being 
commandeered away and the domestic bulls killed by 
wild ones. Due to the great difference in size between 
the domestic and the wild, in cases where inter-breeding 
did occur in this area, it resulted almost invariably in the 
death of the mother or the calf, or both, at the time of 
birth. In Assam, the difference between the domestic 
and the wild buffalo is much less pronounced and 
progressively so with the initiation of genetic swamping. 
There are more domestic buffaloes than any other 
livestock species in the world. Their most common use 
is, significantly not as milch cattle, but as draught animals 
where size and strength are most important. Thus, the 
degeneration, let alone disappearance, of the wild buffalo 
through genetic swamping should be of particular 
concern, the animal being the most important large wild 
mammal in the world today, and vis-a-vis human welfare, 
an invaluable gene pool. 

Earlier surveys (Mooney 1 930, Daniel and Grubh 
1966, Divekar 1976, Divekar etal. 1979, Divekar and 
Bhushan 1 988) concentrated on the status and ecology 
of the species. Other studies focussed on the 
morphological features and behavioural characteristics 
of the species (Gee 1953, Inverarity 1895, Lall 1953, 
Noronha 1954a, b). The study of Daniel and Grubh 



STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF WILD BUFFALO IN PENINSULAR INDIA 



resulted in the species being declared endangered and 
it was placed on the IUCN Red Data Book (1982). 
Even during the earlier surveys, the population of about 
200 to 250 animals in 640 sq. km of the best buffalo 
habitat was considered to be low (Daniel and Grubh 
1966). Considering the rate of habitat degradation in 
peninsular India and the time of last survey, which took 
place a decade back, a survey to assess the current 
status of Wild Buffalo and its habitat was realized and 
initiated. 

STUDY AREA 

Udanti Sanctuary 

Udanti Sanctuary is situated in the Raipur district 
of Chhattisgarh State of India. The habitat of the 
Sanctuary is representative of mixed dry deciduous 
forest (Champion and Seth 1968). Some important 
woody plants are Shorea robusta, Diospyros 
melanoxylon , Buchanania lanzan , Terminalia 
tomentosa, Anogeissus latifolia, Stereospermum 
suaveolens, Pterocarpus marsupium , Cassia fistula, 
Ougeinia oojeinensis, Madhuca indica, etc. Almost 
the entire ground is covered with grasses. Heteropogon 
contortus, Imperata cylindrica, Bothriochloa 
odorata, B. pertusa, Dichanthium annulatum , and 
Themeda quadrivalvis are the major grass species, 
which are disturbed by humans as well as overgrazed 
by domestic cattle. The Sanctuary is mostly flat, but the 
northern part is hilly. The main drainage system is the 
Udanti river and its tributaries. The Udanti river is not 
perennial, but small pools always retain water even in 
summer. Soil in this region is generally loamy and well 
drained. Gonds, Bujjia and Umar are the major tribes 
living in these areas. 

Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve 

The Indravati National Park is situated in the 
districts of Bastar and Dantewada of Chhattisgarh State. 
The habitat of the Park is mixed deciduous forest 
interspersed with various open pockets of abandoned 
arable land (Champion and Seth 1968). Some important 
woody plants are Diospyros melanoxylon, 
Buchanania lanzan, Tectona grandis, Terminalia 
tomentosa, Anogeissus latifolia, Stereospermum 
suaveolens, Pterocarpus marsupium. Cassia fistula, 
Ougeinia oojeinensis, Cleistanthus collinus, and 
Gmelina arborea. Hill slopes and riverbanks are 
covered with bamboo Dendrocalamus strictus. 
However, the vegetation varies from place to place 
(Pandey 1988). Most of the grasslands, which are the 
result of abandoned arable lands and accumulation of 
water in shallow ‘troughs’ in the monsoon, are the ideal 



habitats for wild animals. Due to prevailing successional 
stages, these patches are being encroached on by woody 
plants as a result of compaction of soil due to repeated 
fires and trampling by livestock. There was no 
appreciable growth of Ficus sp., which might be due to 
edaphic factors. The dominant grass species are 
Heteropogon contortus, Imperata cylindrica, 
Bothriochloa odorata, B. pertusa, Dichanthium 
annulatum, Themeda quadrivalvis, T. triandra, 
Eragrostis spp., Chrysopogon fulvus, and Vetiveria 
zizanioides. Wild Buffalo preferred Cyperus 
corymbosus, Cynodon dactylon, Themeda 
quadrivalvis, and Coix spp., among others. 

In both the protected areas, as in the rest of India, 
there are three distinct seasons. The temperature, 
humidity and precipitation vary so greatly that they 
regulate the growth of vegetation and also the habits of 
the wild animals. Rain commences by the second week 
of June and continues till September. The average 
rainfall was 182 cm. The highest temperature (45 °C) 
was recorded in May 1973 and the minimum (2.8 °C) 
was recorded in January 1945 at Jagdalpur. Humidity is 
between 22% and 87%. Wind velocity is maximum in 
July and minimum in January. During the survey period, 
the maximum temperature was about 43 °C. 

METHODS 

Udanti Sanctuary 

Udanti Sanctuary was surveyed from May 10-13, 
2000. The survey was carried out in all the forest 
compartments (water pools and forest roads) where wild 
buffaloes were reported earlier. A 100 x 1000 m (10 
hectare) transect was laid for estimating the Wild Buffalo 
population by looking for dung density as well as hoof 
marks. To avoid confusion while differentiating hoof 
marks, the size (length and width) of the hoof marks of 
both wild and domestic buffaloes were measured after 
sighting the animal directly. Any hoof marks larger than 
14 x 13 cm were considered as that of the Wild Buffalo. 

Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve 

The Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve 
was surveyed from May 14-17, 2000. The survey 
commenced from Bijapur and ended at the same place 
via Somanpalli, Pharsegarh (night halt); Pilur, Jalavagu, 
Sopmarka, Badekakler, Chhotekakler, Arepalli, Sendra, 
Mattimarka (on the Indravati River and a halt on an 
island); Sendra, Pengunda (night halt); Netikakler, 
Karkawada, Godnugur, Durepalli and Kutru. During the 
survey, we checked most of the artificial water pools, 
visited the areas where Wild Buffalo were sighted earlier 
and had discussions with the people of the area. 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



65 



STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF WILD BUFFALO IN PENINSULAR INDIA 



RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 

In the two protected areas, Udanti Sanctuary and 
Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve, where the 
wild buffalo still survives, this survey was able to assess 
about 42-44 buffaloes in Udanti and 25-30 buffaloes in 
Indravati, the total number being less than 75. In the 
Indravati National Park, the population is split into 
three disparate clusters, with possibly little or no inter- 
breeding, giving rise to a spectre of severe inbreeding 
amongst the three separate clusters. These three 
clusters are: 

1. The Salepalli - Pillur cluster: Comprising a 
solitary bull and a herd of five to six animals. This is in 
the southeastern part of the Park. 

2. The Tekmetta cluster: Comprising a solitary 
bull and a herd of five to six animals. This is in the 
southwestern part of the National Park, which is the 
remotest and least disturbed part of the Park. It is 
comprised of hills and valleys adjoining the eastern flank 
of the Indravati, providing the most disturbance free 
habitat with the most readily available access to 
perennial water — the Indravati. Significantly, however, 
the hilly terrain is not a particularly suitable habitat for 
the buffalo. Here, we assessed the presence of 10-15 
animals in three or four groups as well as solitary 
individuals. This area, which is the site of the proposed 
Bhopalpatnam dam, holds the best hope for the survival 
of the Wild Buffalo in the Indravati National Park. 

3. The Pengunda - Netikakler cluster: 
Comprising nine animals; one solitary, a herd comprising 
of a bull, two adult cows, a sub-adult and calf, and 
another group of a cow, sub-adult and calf. This cluster 
is in the northeastern part of the Park. 

The extent of persecution of the buffalo was 
evident from the behaviour pattern of the animals. Wild 
Buffaloes are highly averse to human disturbance and 
have sought refuge in the remotest habitats, the solitary 
bulls that seek domestic buffalo for mating being an 
exception. In both Indravati and Udanti, wild buffaloes 
have become entirely nocturnal from their normal diurnal 
habits. They seek the remotest forests for daytime 
resting, travelling long distances from their feeding 
ground. What is more, they appear to have forsaken 
their usual midday immersion in water and a drink of 
water, even during the height of summer. Even at night, 
they now avoid artificial tanks, such as the Modakvaya 
near Pengunda, frequented by livestock and fishermen, 
preferring to skirt the tank to walk six or more kilometres 
each way each night in summer, to reach the safe and 
quieter Indravati river and then back to their feeding 
grounds. The survey team could see only one solitary 
bull, of the Tekmetta cluster, at 0430 hrs after waiting 



the whole night on an island in the Indravati. It had come 
for an early morning drink before lying up for the day. 
Fresh footprints of all the three clusters of buffaloes 
were seen. 

In Udanti Sanctuary, the Wild Buffalo population 
is now restricted to a very small area of 80 sq. km, 
possibly because of the persistent habitat disturbances. 
In all, seven Wild Buffaloes were sighted between 1 800 
and 1900 hrs on May 12, 2000 and the next day. Of 
these, one was a solitary bull and others were in a herd, 
comprising two adult females, one adult male, two 
yearlings and a calf about one month old. Seven more 
Wild Buffaloes were also identified on the basis of hoof 
marks near the water pools and the transect area. Since 
domestic buffaloes were present throughout the 
Sanctuary, there were limitations to differentiating the 
hoof marks between wild and domestic buffalo. All the 
water pools had old and dried (hardened) hoof marks 
of both domestic and wild buffalo. Transect counts 
confirmed the presence of at least two herds of Wild 
Buffaloes based on hoof mark tracing and dung cakes 
(wild buffalo having larger dung cakes). Four fresh and 
19 old dung cakes were observed in the 10 hectare 
transect area. However, small sized dung deposits 
provided confusing results, as young ones of Wild 
Buffaloes may have deposited the smaller dung cakes. 
Dung and hoof mark counting may be a good method 
for estimating the status of Wild Buffaloes if the 
area is devoid of domestic buffaloes. The team could 
hardly come to a definite conclusion on the population 
size. 

Secondly, information collected from the local and 
forest field staff revealed that the number of Wild 
Buffaloes range between 42 and 44. Demography of 
known herds shows that there was good recruitment in 
this population. 

The normal behaviour of the wild buffalo in this 
sanctuary has changed. A herd arrived at the pond for 
drinking water at 1805 hrs in the Nagesh Tank. They 
spent around 50 minutes in the pond area. During this 
period, they browsed in the nearby grassy patches and 
wallowed in the pond. The one month old calf always 
remained near its mother. The entire herd remained 
together and some of the members were vigilant and 
constantly looked around. The herd was alert and under 
stress throughout the observation period and this can 
most probably be attributed to human disturbance. A 
huge solitary bull sighted by the team was standing under 
a Diospyros melanoxylon tree at 1855 hrs and staring 
at the team’s vehicle, though it made no move. A few 
minutes earlier, it had caused a forest guard to seek 
safety up a tree, from where he was rescued by the 
survey team. 



66 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF WILD BUFFALO IN PENINSULAR INDIA 



People 

Of the 80 families living in Karlajhar and Nagesh 
villages in Udanti, approximately 50 people participated 
in the discussion with us. Gonds, Bhujjia and Kamar are 
the major tribes living in these villages. Generally, these 
people are farmers raising kharif crops and they keep a 
large number of cattle, which are reportedly 
unproductive. During the summer season, they are 
engaged in non-timber forest produce (NTFP) collection, 
mainly tendu Diospyros melanoxylon leaves and also 
earn income through road construction, deepening of 
village ponds, as forest firewatchers. They revealed that 
there are no good schools, transport or medical facilities 
near by. Although they showed keen interest in the 
conservation of the wild buffalo, they complained that 
the occasional raid of their crops by wild buffaloes, 
especially kulthi and madia, two locally grown pulses, 
affected them. They realised that the population of the 
wild buffalo is decreasing. However, they were unable 
or unwilling to give reasons for this decline. 

Indravati National Park holds resident populations 
of three tribal groups, namely Gonds, Marias and Murias. 
They generally depend on monsoon-based sustenance 
agriculture and plant kharif crops, besides keeping a 
large number of livestock including some buffaloes. 
They are also hunters, and hunt almost all the wild 
vertebrates using nets, traps and indigenous weapons, 
such as axe, spear, bow and arrow. We noticed 
unrestricted movement of the people inside the protected 
areas (PAs) armed with bows and arrows. They also 
perform communal hunting ( Paradh ) when people from 
one or more villages get together and flush out all the 
wild animals towards a long chain of nets raised on 
bamboo poles. Forest officials and the survey team 
stopped one such big Paradh while returning from 
Karkawada to Kerpe on May 1 7, 2000. The team seized 
seven nets (a net = 2 x 1 0 m in size) and bamboo poles, 
axe and spear from the hunters. Approximately 40 people, 
including some young boys, were involved in the 
Paradh. During the summer, apart from hunting, the 
local people are engaged in collection of Non Timber 
Forest Produce (NTFP), mainly tendu Diospyros 
melanoxylon and mahuwa Madhuca indica. Although 
the income from this is estimated to be less than 
Rs. 200/capita/annum, the disturbance and damage 
caused has adverse effects on the entire tract of the 
protected area (PA). Unavailability of work and 
unrestricted movement inside PAs during summer has 
led the people to engage in large scale hunting. The 
negative perception about conservation of wild buffalo 
and other wildlife is due to possible attack from these 
animals. In the past, there were incidents of conflict 
between humans and the wild buffalo. On May 2, 2000, 



a solitary wild buffalo bull killed one person near 
Phulgundam village. 

Availability of Water 

In Udanti Sanctuary, water is retained in a few 
pools in the Udanti river in summer. There are four 
artificial tanks spaced out in the main Wild Buffalo 
habitat, which also retain water in summer. However, 
the presence of domestic buffaloes and other livestock 
deters the Wild Buffalo and other animals from utilizing 
almost all the water sources barring two, during daylight. 

Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve is a high 
rainfall area. However, the soil being porous sandy loam 
its water retention capacity is low. In the past, depressions 
and troughs in the soil enabled accumulation of shallow 
water and growth of marshy grasslands suitable for animals 
like the Wild Buffalo and the Barasingha. Incessant fires 
have not only destroyed the grass, especially the more 
palatable perennial Andropogon varieties, but also led to 
the hardening of the soil, which is further compacted by 
the hoof marks of livestock attracted by the flush of grass 
following the burning. Gradually, the marshy grasslands 
have become hard ground covered by short, annual, less 
nutritious Heteropogon grasses, gradually being overtaken 
by tree growth. 

What was indeed most surprising was the lack of 
perennial water. The Indravati river, circumscribing as 
it does a loop covering two sides of the Protected Area, 
is the only natural perennial water source. In the rest of 
the vast area, there are a few artificial tanks and a few 
pools in the Davil Vagu and Kaker river, all occupied by 
livestock in summer. Even in the Pillur tank, there were 
no recent Wild Buffalo hoof prints to be seen. The lack 
of water during the peak of summer is a major drawback 
for wildlife in the Indravati National Park. It also 
facilitates ambush at water holes and Paradh operations. 

Threats and Recommendations 

The following adverse factors and threats were 
observed and perceived: 

1 . Communal hunting called Paradh is universally 
practised throughout Indravati National Park, persistently 
and methodically in the dry season. No animal is safe 
from this operation. 

2. Fire, mostly repeated fires, were seen to have 
affected about 95% of the National Park. This deliberate 
burning is for Paradh , collection of the NTFP, especially 
tendu leaves and for grazing purposes. 

3. Extensive grazing and related fires, and 
disturbance, habitat degradation and threat of contagion 
of livestock-borne diseases. However, the livestock 
population in itself is not high and there are few domestic 
buffaloes even now. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



67 



STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF WILD BUFFALO IN PENINSULAR INDIA 



4. Extensive and continuous anthropogenic 
disturbance. 

5. Existence of 53 villages, though small in 
population, spread all over in a jig-saw puzzle formation, 
have an overall adverse impact. Almost all are revenue 
villages. 

6. Lack of adequate number of permanent 
waterbodies. Barring the Indravati, all existing water 
points pose a danger to wild animals in summer. 

7. Presence of Naxalites. Though these groups 
are largely pro-forest and pro-wildlife, their occurrence 
in the Indravati Tiger Reserve is both the reason and an 
excuse for many failings in management. Wireless sets 
have been snatched in 1988, government buildings 
destroyed, culverts and roads not allowed to be built 
and the Field Director attacked. 

8. Routine patrolling and law enforcement is thus 
greatly hampered and a fear psychosis affects the staff. 

9. Lack of adequate and appropriate manpower 
and infrastructure support, resulting in failings in 
management. 

Conservation measures 

1 . Final notification of the Indravati National Park 
and Tiger Reserve must take place immediately. It has 
been proposed to extend the National Park over 
uninhabited forests southeast towards Bijapur. Those 
portions of the Indravati National Park which are 
Reserved Forests, together with the Reserved Forest 
portions of the proposed extension mentioned above, 
can forthwith be declared a national park as no 
acquisition of rights proceedings are required. 

2. NTFP collection for non-commercial use only 
should be continued, as per the management plan, in the 
sanctuary portion only. All NTFP collection for 
commercial purpose must stop forthwith in these PAs. 

3. An updated management plan has to be 
prepared for the Indravati Tiger Reserve and the Udanti- 
Sitanadi Protected Areas complex. 

4. In view of the severe pressures being inflicted 
upon the surviving Wild Buffalo in Indravati National 
Park, the Udanti-Sitanadi population assumes additional 
importance. A ‘corridor’ linking Udanti and Sitanadi 
Sanctuaries has long been proposed. This must be 
established in the form of a sanctuary extension and the 
Udanti-Sitanadi Complex together with the ‘corridor’ 
be managed as one ecological entity. 

5. The Reserved Forests of Udanti south of the 
Raipur-Deobhog Road and at least the adjacent reserved 
forest of the eastern parts of the Sitanadi Sanctuary 
which have no habitations, together with the uninhabited 
Reserved Forests of the proposed corridor, should 
become a national park, and the rest finally declared as 



a sanctuary. 

6. Fire application and long lines of strong, high 
nets during Paradh must stop. While the authorities must 
show determination to stop this at any cost, persuasion 
and alternatives should also be proferred. The pujaris 
of various villages should be persuaded to change over 
to symbolic Paradhs in the form of a ritual and the 
meat requirements, in the form of live buffaloes and 
goats, could be provided by the Park authorities. It is 
certainly worth attempting. 

7. The Wild Buffalo needs large tracts of 
undisturbed forests with grassy openings, preferably 
moist and marshy patches, and close proximity of 
perennial water. This must be ensured in all management 
applications and the disturbance factor must not be 
ignored. 

8. Currently, the 19 km stretch of the Indravati 
river extending from below Bendrai Gutta hill to above 
Mattimarka village, constituting the border between 
Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, happens to be the most 
remote and uninhabited stretch of a river anywhere in 
Chhattisgarh and there are no habitations in the adjacent 
forests which comprise of the Kutru Reserved Forest. 
This tract with its frontage on the Indravati is the most 
promising habitat where a last ditch effort can be made, 
as the focal point of protection efforts and inputs, 
including constant monitoring. This area affords perhaps 
the last hope of saving the peninsular Wild Buffalo. 

9. The 53 existing villages within the Indravati 
National Park and others in the buffer area are 
encroaching upon forests and expanding their cultivation 
illegally. These encroachers must be evicted. 

10. In view of the grave danger of extinction as 
well as genetic degeneration through interbreeding with 
domestic buffaloes, the peninsular buffalo may be the 
only hope for the survival of the pure strain of Wild 
Buffalo. A special project should be started jointly by 
the Central Government and the State Governments of 
Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, to define and implement 
immediate and long-term actions. A special fund would 
have to be provided by the Central Government, but the 
infrastructural, logistical and other support and inputs 
would have to come from the two States. Subsequently, 
if the buffalo numbers increase and some movement of 
wild buffaloes to Orissa and Andhra Pradesh occurs, 
these States should also be involved. 

1 1 . The buffaloes in Indravati National Park are 
in three distinct clusters, as mentioned. Three small 
protection units or special parties need to be established, 
each under a selected forester or deputy ranger and 
comprising of local persons of knowledge and 
commitment, whose sole job would be to save these 
three clusters of wild buffalo and their habitat from 



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STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF WILD BUFFALO IN PENINSULAR INDIA 



poaching, harassment and fire. They would continuously 
monitor the movements of the animals and would be 
personally responsible for their safety. The units must 
be adequately equipped, regularly supervised, and 
rewarded when successful in their work. 

12. Traditionally domestic buffaloes are not kept 
in Wild Buffalo habitats, a trend to be encouraged and 
domestic buffaloes relocated outside the main buffalo 
habitats in the Indravati, and from Udanti in particular. 

13. Paucity of water in peak summer is a serious 
drawback. However, the tanks that have been made 
have been so disturbed by man and livestock that wild 
buffaloes do not use many of them, Modakvaya lake 
being one example. These remote tanks meant for 
wildlife away from human habitations must be kept free 
of human disturbance. 

14. Fire, which is deliberate, universal and repeated, 
must be controlled. Stoppage of Paradh and the 
commercial collection of NTFP would itself reduce the 
incidence of fire greatly. For the rest, incentives to the 
locals would have to be given annually on performance 
in both putting out and preventing fires. 

15. Dialogue with the locals, their leaders and even 
the ‘Naxalites’ to convince them of the reasons of 
management actions and, to ascertain and provide the 
genuine basic requirements of the local people, including 
alternatives. Their participation in conservation action 
must be obtained to the extent possible, and in this 
endeavour NGOs like the Bastar Society for 
Conservation of Nature (BASCON), would be most 
helpful. 

16. While no coercion need be done, inhabitants 
of the smaller and more remote of the 53 villages within 
the Park can be approached to ascertain whether they 
would wish to resettle either outside the Park, or even 
move over to a larger village within it. The attempt should 
first be made in the habitats of the three remaining 
clusters of wild buffaloes. Those habitations that wish 
to move should be given an option of where to go, given 
one and a half times the land that they legally possess 
and other compensations, and be provided vehicular 
transport to shift their belongings. But it may be ensured 
that an entire habitation is shifted, not just a few members 
of it, and after shifting they should not come back and 
lake possession of their previous holdings as well. This 
is a very sensitive issue and should only be attempted in 
cooperation with the local leaders and politicians. 

17. Eco-development should be taken up in the 
buffer area of the Park, the aim being to reduce the 
biotic pressure, and move away from the Park by 
providing alternatives. 

18. An anti-poaching camp should be posted at 
Pharsegadh for Indravati and provided with mini-trucks. 



Park staff, including forest guards, should be trained in 
the wildlife guard training school at Bandhavgarh. 

19. Prophylactic inoculation is done sporadically 
in pursuance of the Supreme Court orders. This must 
be more regular and widespread. 

20. Continuous monitoring and applied research to 
assist management and ensure a scientific presence, 
involving local universities and institutions. 

2 1 . Coordination and regular contact between the 
field management personnel in adjacent areas of Madhya 
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. 

22. The Bhopalpatnam dam site is almost in the 
centre of the 19 km stretch of the Indravati. If the dam 
is allowed, it will mean the destruction of this magnificent 
habitat and of the last hope of the survival of the buffalo 
in the Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve. 

23. The Udanti-Sitanadi complex is under the threat 
of mining. This must be prevented at all cost and this 
complex of PAs with the corridor in between and suitable 
adjacent areas should now be made into a Tiger Reserve 
under Project Tiger. 

24. As a safeguard against extinction in the wild, a 
capture, translocation or captive breeding/reintroduction 
programme may have to be contemplated, as a last resort. 
A suitable site would be the large enclosure in Sukhpar, 
Kanha National Park, which could then be a haven for 
the species. In any case, expertise would have to be 
developed within the Indravati National Park 
management to enable transquilisation, treatment and 
local translocation of Wild Buffalo which might have 
been wounded, or where it may be necessary to shift 
unsafe or single animals from one part of the Park to 
another. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank the Chhattisgarh Forest Department for 
organizing this survey. Thanks are due to Shri S.K.S. 
Chauhan, Ex-Field Director, Indravati Tiger Reserve. 
Thanks are also due to Messrs. Debashish Das, 
D. Banerjee, M.A. Rahim, N.A. Netam, T.B. Singh, 
Kaushlendra Kumar, C.P. Rai, Manish Singh, Rajendra 
Pambhoi, Mahadeo Singh Rana, Mahipal Singh Dhurve, 
Manish Rastogi and Ms. Deepali Rastogi for their 
involvement and future input for the conservation of 
the Wild Buffalo. We thank Mr. PK. Mishra APCCF 
and CWLW M.P., Shri S.K. Mukherjee Director, 
Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dr. PK. Mathur, 
Scientist SG, WII, Dr. Asad R. Rahmani, Director, 
BNHS, Mr. J.C. Daniel, Hon. Secretary, BNHS for all 
the help and guidance. The survey team thanks all the 
local people for their sincere interaction and sharing 
information. 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



69 



STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF WILD BUFFALO IN PENINSULAR INDIA 



REFERENCES 



Champion, H.G & S.K. Seth (1968): A revised survey of the forest 
types of India. Government of India Press. Delhi. 

Daniel, J.C. & R.B. Grubh (1966): The Indian Wild Buffalo, Bubalus 
bubalis (Linn), in peninsular India: a preliminary survey. 
J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 63(1): 32-53. 

Divekar, H.K. (1976): A resurvey of the status of Wild Buffaloes in 
West Bastar, Madhya Pradesh. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 73(2): 
382-385. 

Divekar, H.K. & B. Bhushan (1988): Status survey of the Wild 
Asiatic Buffalo Bubalus bubalis in the Raipur and Bastar districts 
of Madhya Pradesh. Technical report. Bombay Natural History 
Society. 35 pp. 

Divekar, H.K., R. Grubh, P.B. Shekar. K.K. Mohapatra, V.D. 
Divekar (1979): Status and ecology of wild buffalo Bubalus 
bubalis , in the Raipur and Bastar districts of Maharashtra. 
Bombay Natural History Society, Unpublished report. 19 pp. 

Gee, E.P. ( 1 953): Wild buffaloes and tame. J. Bombay nat. Hist Soc 
51(3): 727-730. 



Inverarity, J.D. (1895): The Indian Wild Buffalo. J. Bombay nat. 
Hist. Soc. 10: 41-52. 

Lall, S. (1953): Wild buffaloes and tame. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 
51(3): 726-727. 

Mooney, H.F. (1930): The distribution of wild buffalo in Orissa. 

J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 34: 242-244. 

Noronha, R.P. (1954a): ‘More notes on the Indian Buffalo’. Typed 
report to New York Zoological Society. 

Noronha, R.P. ( 1954b): More notes on the Indian Buffalo. J. Bombay 
nat. Hist. Soc. 52(1): 202-204. 

Pandey, R.K. (1988): Habitat utilization and diurnal activity pattern 
of Indian wild buffalo Bubalus bubalis Linn. In: Indravati Wildlife 
National Park, India: A study of habitat/animal interaction. 
Journal of Tropica! Forestry 4(111): 269-280. 

Ranjitsingh, M.K. (1997): Beyond the Tiger - Portraits of Asian 
Wildlife. Brijbasi Printers Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, pp. 203. 

Red Data Book ( 1982): Mammals Vol 1. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 
pp. 516. 



■ ■ ■ 



70 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



71-78 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 
(, ELEPHAS MAXIMUS )' 

P.A. Rees 2 



'Accepted December, 2001 

2 School of Environment & Life Sciences, Peel Building, University of Salford, Salford, England, M5 4WT. 

Email: p.a.rees@salford.ac.uk 

Limited detailed information is available on the social behaviour of the Asian Elephant. This paper describes 
hitherto unreported submissive behaviours exhibited by captive Asian Elephants. These behaviours are 
rare and have only been observed on a small number of occasions during over 400 hours of observations 
made over two and a half years. When approached by an adult bull, some adult cows were observed to 
decline the head and bow down, lowering the head to ground level. This occurred when the bull was in 
musth, or when he had been separated from the cows for many days. On other occasions, cows kneeled on 
the rear legs and, in extreme cases, lay prone. A cow was also observed bowing low to a very young calf 
soon after birth and when his mother was far away. This behaviour may have been intended to reassure the 
calf that the cow was not a threat. The appeasement of aggression by submission to ritualised mounting was 
also observed. These behaviours are similar to those observed in some mammalian species, particularly 
ungulates. 



Key words: Elephas maximus, elephant, appeasement, behaviour 



INTRODUCTION 

Ritualised appeasement behaviour is known from 
a wide range of mammalian species and includes 
exposure of vulnerable parts of the body, lowering of 
the head and body, lying down, sexual presentation, and 
submission to mounting (Ewer 1 973). 

Early descriptions of aggression in elephants were 
concerned with the fighting behaviour of adults 
(Carrington 1958; Kuhme 1961, 1963). Estes ( 1 99 1 ) has 
categorised defensive/ submissive displays in African 
Elephants ( Loxodonta africana) as: avoidance (turning 
away, backing up, running away), flattening ears, arching 
back, raising tail, agitated trunk movements, touching 
temporal gland, throwing dust, pawing, foot-swinging, 
swaying, and exaggerated feeding behaviour. In an 
agonistic encounter between two bulls, the smaller 
animal flattens its ears, keeps its head lowered, moves 
backward and sideways and makes writhing trunk 
movements. 

Langbauer Jr. (2000) has summarised apprehension 
and submissive behaviour in elephants as: jaw out, face 
check, trunk twitch, trunk curl, swaying, tail up, back in 
(Kiihme 1961; Douglas-Hamilton 1972; Payne and 
Langbauer Jr. 1992; Poole 1999). 

This paper describes hitherto unreported sub- 
missive behaviours exhibited by captive Asian Elephants. 
They include declining the head, bowing the head 
low to the ground, kneeling on the rear legs, lying 
prone and submission to ritualised mounting. These 
behaviours are rare and have only been observed 
on a few occasions. However, similar behaviours 



have been observed in other mammal species (Estes 
1991). 

Head held low is a submissive posture in Buffalo 
( Syncerus caffer ), Giraffe ( Giraffe Camelopardalis ), 
Rhinos ( Diceros bicornis and Ceratotherium simian), 
Warthog ( Phacochoerus aethiopicus ), zebras and 
asses (Equidae), and is almost universal in the antelope 
species (Bovidae). Subordinate Chimpanzees ( Pan 
troglodytes) have been observed bowing to alpha males 
(de Waal 1996). A kneeling posture, representing an 
intention to lie down, occurs in the Black Wildebeest 
(Connochaetes gnou), however, in some species, 
kneeling is associated with aggression or dominance. 
Bull Buffaloes ( S . caffer) kneel, and rub the face and 
chin on the ground in an aggressive display. Pfeffer 
(1967) has described an appeasement ceremony in the 
Mouflon ( Ovis amnion), which consists of the superior 
animal kneeling to be licked by the inferior. Lying-out 
(lying prone) occurs in Connochaetes and in Sable 
(Hippotragus niger). Lowering the hindquarters is a 
submissive behaviour in the Spotted Hyena ( Crocuta 
crocuta) as is lying prone in the Brown Hyena ( Hyaena 
brunnea) and in hippos ( Hippopotamus amphibius), 
resembling the posture of oestrus females during 
copulation. Ritualised mounting by dominant animals is 
well known in primates, e.g. baboons (Cercopithecidae) 
(Cohnenares 1991 ). 

METHODS 

The subjects of this study were members of a herd 
of Asian elephants held at the North of England 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 



Zoological Society’s National Elephant Centre (Chester 
Zoo) in Cheshire, England. At the beginning of the study, 
the herd consisted of one adult (tuskless) bull, 5 adult 
cows, a juvenile bull and a calf. Two calves were 
subsequently born in 2000 (Table 1 ). 

During the day, the herd was confined within an 
outdoor enclosure surrounded by a dry moat. At night, 
the animals were housed in an elephant house in which 
the adult bull was kept separate from the others. 
Sometimes the adult bull was confined to a separate 
bull pen during the day. This meant that on occasions 
the bull and cows were kept completely separate for 
many days, apart from brief contacts through steel bars. 

Data on appeasement behaviour were collected 
ad libitum during a long-term study of the social 
dynamics of the herd. The herd was observed for a 
total of 420 hours on 93 days over two and a half years, 
between the beginning of January 1999 and the end of 
June 2001 . 

Most of the observations were made while the 
elephants were outside. All instances of unusual 
behaviour were recorded by typing descriptions into a 
Psion Series 5 handheld computer, and, where possible, 
by still photography (using a 35 mm camera with a 
200 mm or 300 mm lens) and on videotape (using an 8 
mm Sony Handycam SC5). 

RESULTS 

Observations of novel appeasement behaviour 
made during this study are summarized in Table 2. The 
most significant elements ofthis behaviour are ritualized 
bowing, kneeling on the rear legs, and lying prone. In 
addition, observations of submission to ritualised 



mounting behaviour are described. Some, but by no 
means all, of this behaviour occurred when the adult 
bull was in musth. 

Ritualised bowing 

Adult cows were sometimes observed to decline 
the head slightly in the presence of the adult bull. During 
this behaviour, the cow sometimes rubbed her head 
against his. 

In extreme cases, the cow bent down to the ground 
with one leg tucked under the body, lowering the head 
to the ground (Fig. 1 , 2a). During this behaviour the bull 
was sometimes seen touching the cow with his trunk 
and head. On two occasions, bowing behaviour by adult 
cows to the adult bull was exhibited after an extended 
period of separation from the bull. 

The bowing behaviour was also exhibited by Sheba 
the adult cow towards the calf PoChin (Fig. 2b). In this 
context, she may have been signaling the absence of a 
threat to the calf. Sheba was the only adult in the herd 
that did not show aggression towards the young calf 
(usually kicking) during the first few days of his life, 
apart from his mother. Sheba appeared to exhibit this 
behaviour when the calf needed reassurance e.g. 
immediately after birth, when separated from his mother 
by a long distance, and on his first day outside the 
elephant house. Sheba acted as an allomother to PoChin 
from birth by guarding him (especially when asleep) and 
allowing him to comfort suckle. 

Kuhme (1963) described kneeling behaviour in 
captive African elephants, which occurred at the end of 
a hostile encounter. The appeasing elephant would kneel 
with ears spread wide in front of its partner, or a dog or 
a hostile human. 




Fig. 1: Kumara bowing to Chang (based on Fig 2a and other photographs taken during the study) 



72 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 




Fig. 2b: Sheba bowing to PoChin with his mother, Jangoli, standing nearby 



Table 1 : The composition of the elephant herd at Chester Zoo 



Name/relationship 


Origin/Place of birth 


Sex 


Approximate 
year of birth 


Reproductive status 
during the study 


Chang 


Copenhagen Zoo 


c? 


1981 


Proven bull 


Sheba 


Wild caught / Sri Lanka 


9 


1956 


Cycling 


Thi 


Logging camp / Burma 


9 


1981 


Pregnant/nursing 


Kumara 


Wild caught / unknown 


9 


1966 


Non-cycling 


Maya 


Wild caught / unknown 


9 


1968 


Non-cycling 


Jangoli 


Wild caught / Burma 


9 


1967 


Pregnant/nursing 


Upali 


Zurich Zoo 


c 7 


1994 


Juvenile 


Sithami (Chang x Thi) 


Born Chester Zoo 


9 


1997 


Calf 


PoChin (Chang x Jangoli) 


Born Chester Zoo 


<3 


2000 


Calf 


Assam (Chang x Thi) 


Born Chester Zoo 


<3 


2000 


Calf 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



73 



Table 2 : Novel appeasement behaviours observed within the herd 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 



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74 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



n.a. not applicable 

? time unknown or uncertain 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 



Kneeling on rear legs and lying prone 

When approached by a bull from the rear, adult 
cows sometimes crouched or kneeled on one of their 
hind legs in a posture resembling that adopted during 
courtship immediately before allowing mounting 
(Figs 3a-c). This may be a ritualised sexual submissive 
behaviour. In extreme cases, the cow lay down briefly 
in a prone position and then stood up (Fig. 4d). 

Elephants rarely lie down on the ground, and then 
usually on their side. Lying prone is not a posture that 
elephants normally adopt when resting, so it is reasonable 
to assume that this behaviour has a special significance 
as a signal to others. 

All the incidents involving the appeasement of 
Chang by the adult cows Sheba and Kumara using this 
behaviour occurred either when he was in musth (and 
in a more aggressive state) or after a prolonged period 
of separation from the cows. Under these circumstances, 
it might be expected that submissive individuals would 
need to confirm their status to a dominant animal. 

The most impressive sequence of submissive 
behaviour was recorded from Kumara in response to the 
presence of Chang on August 2, 2000 (Table 3 and Figs 
4a-d). This incident began with Kumara declining her head 
when Chang approached and culminated in her lying prone 
briefly as he walked behind and away from her. 

Submission to mounting 

On two separate days, the adult cow Kumara was 
observed submitting to mounting by the adult bull Chang 
while his penis was sheathed. These mountings were 



associated with aggressive behaviour. 

Incident 1 (February 19, 1999): Chang and Upali 
pursued and pushed Kumara for a period of 24 minutes. 
After harassing her for eight minutes, Chang mounted 
Kumara with his penis sheathed. Fourteen minutes later, 
after holding her down on the ground, he mounted her 
again with his penis erect, but failed to penetrate her. 
During the incident Kumara vocalised frequently, 
defecated and urinated three times each, including during 
and after both mountings. 

Incident 2 (February 28, 1 999): Over a three hour 
period, Chang intermittently pursued and pushed 
Kumara. Chang mounted her twice with his penis 
sheathed (with an interval of approximately one hour). 
After the second mounting Upali attacked Kumara, and 
Jangoli attempted to intervene by obstructing Chang. 
During the incident Kumara vocalised five times, and 
urinated seven times, including during both mountings. 
After the first mounting, Kumara also defecated. 

In the other 59 adult mountings observed, Chang’s 
penis was always descended prior to mounting and erect 
during attempts at intromission. During normal sexual 
behaviour cows did not usually vocalise, urinate or 
defecate during courtship. 

The aggressive behaviour exhibited by Chang 
during these encounters with Kumara suggests that these 
mountings were not sexual in nature and may have been 
a display of dominance. Kumara’s allowing him to mount 
may have been an expression of submission. This 
interpretation is supported by historical evidence of the 
relationship between the two animals. 





Table 3: Appeasement behaviour exhibited by Kumara towards Chang (August 2, 2000) 


Time 


Chang’s interaction with Kumara 


Chang’s interaction with other herd members 


10.00 




Slight aggression towards PoChin 


10.22 




Mounted Sheba, kicked PoChin 


10.26 




Mounted Sheba 


10.33 


Kumara took part in greeting ceremony, then kneeled on 
front legs and bowed to Chang 


Greeting ceremony with herd members 


10.37 




Chang kicked PoChin 


11.10 




Chang inspected Sheba’s genitals 


11.15 


Kumara declined head to Chang, and rubbed her head 
against his (Fig. 4a and b) 




11.22 




Chang inspected Sheba’s genitals 


11.24 


Kumara bowed to Chang (Fig. 4c), then he withdrew 




11.27 


Chang returned to Kumara and held her rump in his mouth 




11.29 


Chang crossed behind Kumara. She lay prone for a few 
seconds while he passed, then stood up (Fig. 4d) 




11.33 




Chang kicked PoChin 


11.52 




Chang kicked PoChin 


11.57 




Chang hit PoChin with trunk 


12.05 


Chang hit Kumara with his head. Jangoli went to 
stand with her. Chang withdrew with Jangoli. 





J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



75 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 





Figs 3a-c: a. Chang (left) approaches Maya from the rear, b. Maya sits down when harassed by Chang, 

c. Upali (right) joins Chang in harassing Maya 



76 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 




J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



77 



Figs 4a-d. Sequence of photographs of Kumara appeasing Chang taken over a period of 14 min, a. Kumara (left) bowing to Chang (1115 hrs), b. Kumara (left) 
rubbing her head against Chang (1116 hrs), c. Kumara (right) bowing to Chang (1124 hrs), d. Kumara (left) lying prone briefly as Chang (middle) walks behind 
her from left to right (1129 hrs) 



UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT 



The two elephants first met in May 1989 when 
Kumara was moved to Chester, when Chang was 
7.5 years old and Kumara was approximately 22 years 
old. Kumara regularly attacked Chang when he was 
young, but as he grew larger, he began to retaliate. At 
the time of this study, Kumara bore extensive scars on 
her back resulting from previous attacks by Chang (Jones, 
pers. comm.). 

DISCUSSION 

Previously unreported appeasement behaviours 
were displayed by adult female Asian Elephants in 
situations where they were being attacked or harassed 
by bulls, or following extended periods of separation 
from the adult bull. Similar behaviour appeared to be 
used by an adult cow to signal the absence of threat to 
a young, unrelated calf. 

Lowering the head is an anti-threat appeasement 
behaviour in elephants (Manning 1972), since aggressive 
animals generally hold the head high. Lying down may 
also be categorised as an anti-threat behaviour. 
Crouching down and kneeling on the rear legs may be 
intended to appease an aggressor by arousing a 
conflicting, sexual tendency. In the few incidents of 
submission to mounting that were observed, this 
appeared to prevent further aggression, at least 
temporarily. 



Appeasement behaviours in Asian elephants may 
serve the function of allowing subordinate animals to 
remain within a social group. It is interesting that the 
adult bull showed considerable aggression towards 
Kumara at the beginning of the study, but two and a 
half years later there was little sign of antagonism 
between them. 

It is not surprising that the appeasement behaviours 
reported here exist in the Asian Elephant, as they are similar 
to behaviours displayed by many ungulate species. Neither 
is it surprising that appeasement behaviour of this type has 
not previously been reported from the wild. Studies of 
captive Rhesus Macaques ( Macaca mulatto) have shown 
that submission and appeasement gestures increase in 
crowded conditions (de Waal 1996). Such behaviour is 
more likely to be observed in a captive environment, 
because animals that behave antagonistically towards each 
other cannot easily avoid contact. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The North of England Zoological Society (NEZS) 
kindly permitted me to conduct this study and provided 
library facilities. Financial support was partly provided 
by grants from the NEZS and the University of Salford. 
Mick Jones, Head of the Elephant Section, Chester Zoo, 
kindly provided information regarding the history of the 
relationships between herd members. 



REFERENCES 



Carrington, R. (1958): Elephants. Chatto & Windus, London. 
272 pp. 

Colmenares, F. (1991 ): Greeting behaviour between male baboons: 
Oestrus females, rivalry, and negotiation. Anim. Behav. 41: 
29-60. 

de Waal, F. ( 1 996): Good natured. The origins of right and wrong in 
humans and other animals. Harvard University Press, 
Cambridge, Massachusetts. 296 pp. 

Douglas-Hamilton, I. (1972): On the ecology and behaviour of the 
African elephant. D. Phil. Thesis, Oxford University. 

Estes, R.D. (1991): The Behaviour Guide to African Mammals, 
including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores. Primates. University 
of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. 

611 pp. 

Ewer, R.F. (1973): Ethology of mammals. Paul Elek (Scientific Books) 
. Ltd , London. 41 8 pp. 

Kuhme, V.W. (1961): Beobachtungen am Afrikanischen Elefanten 



( Loxodonta africana Blumenbach 1979) in Gefangenschaft 
Z. Tierpsychol. 18: 285-296. 

Kuhme, V.W. (1963): Erganzende Beobachtungen an Afrikanischen 
Elefanten ( Loxodonta africana Blumenbach 1979) im 
Freigehege. Z Tierpsychol. 20: 66-79. 

Langbauer Jr, W.R. (2000): Elephant communication. Zoo Biol, 
19: 425-445. 

Manning, A. (1972): An Introduction to Animal Behaviour (2nd 
Edn). Edward Arnold (Publishers) Limited, London. 294 pp. 

Payne, K.B. & W.R. Langbauer Jr. (1992): Elephant communication. 
Pp. 1 16-23. In: Elephants (Ed.: Shoshani, J.), Weldon Owen, 
San Francisco. 

Pfeffer, P. (1967): Le mouflon de Corse (Ovis ammon musimon 
Schreber 1782). Mammalia 3 1 (Suppl.): 1-262. 

Poole, J.H. (1999): Signals and assessment in African elephants: 
evidence from playback experiments. Anim. Behav. 58: 185- 
93. 



78 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101(1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



79-89 



A MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS OF AREAS 
ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT: SPECIES PROPORTION 
OF FAMILY PAPILIONIDAE AS AN INDICATOR 1 

Arun. P. Singh 2 and Rajiv Pandey 3 

'Accepted July, 2002 

Entomology Division, Forest Research Institute (ICFRE), PO. New Forest, Dehra Dun 248 006, Uttaranchal, India. 
Email:singhap@icfre.org 

Statistical Division, Forest Research Institute (ICFRE), P.O. New Forest, Dehra Dun 248 006, Uttaranchal, India. 
Email: pandeyr@icfre.org 

The proportions of species in many of the five butterfly families (Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, 
Lycaenidae and Nymphalidae) found across the Indian subcontinent show a relatively invariant relationship 
with the overall butterfly species richness, at both local and regional scales. This relationship suggests that 
it is possible to use the species total of a single butterfly family best suited to estimate the overall species 
richness of all other butterflies in an area. Family Papilionidae is a logical choice over others for ease of 
sampling. Also, there is a strong positive correlation between Papilionidae species richness and the overall 
species richness of all other butterflies across all other areas, and the proportion of this family is reasonably 
invariant. The mean proportion (7%) of this family can thus be used to estimate the overall butterfly species 
richness of an area across the Indian subcontinent for which the Papilionidae species total is known. 

Key words: Butterflies, Papilionidae, Indian subcontinent, species richness, spatial distribution 



INTRODUCTION 

The Indian subcontinent, which includes the area from 
Baluchistan (Pakistan) eastwards through India up to 
Myanmar and Sri Lanka, as well as the higher trans- 
Himalayan zone, is habitat for more than 1,439 species 
(Evans 1932, Haribal 1 992) of butterflies representing 7.2- 
11.1% of the total world species [13,000 (Owen 1971) - 
20,000 (Vane- Wright 1978)]. Amongst these, about 100 
species are endemic to the Subcontinent (Smetacek 1 996) 
and at least 26 taxa are today “globally threatened” (IUCN 
1990). Identification and prioritisation of areas of 
conservation concern, i.e. butterfly biodiversity hotspots, 
are usually based on local endemic and relict taxa, their 
biogeographical affinities and globally threatened and rare 
status. However, prioritisation and selection of such areas 
requires estimation of various ecological indices [e.g. 
Shannon diversity index, Pielou’s evenness index. Similarity 
index (Ludwig and Reynolds 1 988)] which depend on the 
‘absolute species richness’ of the species of the area. Data 
on the absolute butterfly species richness of most areas 
across the Subcontinent is non-existent. Traditional methods 
of deriving species richness by collecting and counting all 
the species in an area require much time, effort and 
resources, which were not easily available, and hence 
such studies have not been carried out in India. There is a 
need to evolve easy and cost effective methods to estimate 
the butterfly species richness of areas of concern. 

Beccaloni and Gaston (1995) have proposed such 
a method to predict butterfly species richness of areas 



in the lesser known tropical forests of Central and South 
America, with the help of known species totals of only 
a single sub-family (Nymphalidae: Ithomiinae) also 
called the indicator group. This method is based on 
the fact that the proportions of species in many of the 
14 subfamilies and families occurring in these forests 
show a relatively invariant relationship with the overall 
species richness of the area, on both local as well as 
regional scales. Besides, the species richness of this 
indicator group also has a strong positive correlation with 
the overall species richness of all the butterflies across 
the areas and the proportion (4.5%) of this group is 
reasonably invariant across tropical forests of central and 
south America. Keeping in mind the findings of Beccaloni 
and Gaston (1995), the present study was conducted to 
determine if proportions of butterfly species in families 
distributed over the Indian subcontinent are also invariant 
with respect to (i) species richness, (ii) spatial scale, 
(iii) forest type and (iv) butterfly subregional distribution 
in the Subcontinent. This study further tries to determine 
the potential indicator group amongst the 5 major families 
found in the subregion that can be used to estimate the 
species richness of other butterflies found in different 
areas in the Subcontinent. 

METHODS 

The Indian subregions 

The Indian subcontinent (study area) forms a major 
part of the Oriental region, occupying its extreme 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 



northwestern limits. It has been divided into 9 butterfly 
subregions (Evans 1932, Wynter-Blyth 1957) as in 
Fig. 1 . (i) Baluchistan or BA (northern limit up to Safed 
Koh: 26° 00'-34° 00’ N and 62° 00’-70° 00' E) and (ii) 
Chitral or CL (72° 00' Eand 36° 00' N) including Chitral, 
Hunza, Baltistan and Ladakh in both Pakistan and India 

(iii) western Himalayas or WH (Kashmir: 74° 00' E and 
36° 00' N to Kumaon: 80° 00' E and 29° 00' N) in India, 

(iv) Central Himalayas or CH (Nepal: 80° 00'-88° 00' E 
to 30° 00'-27° 00' N), (v) Northeast India (includes 
eastern Himalayas from Sikkim: 88° 00' E and 29° 00' N 
to Arunachal Pradesh: 96° 00' E and 28° 00' N in India 
through Bhutan and parts of Bangladesh) and north 
Myanmar (up to Shan States: 97° 00'- 100° 00' E to 
28° 00'-20° 00’ N) or NEI & NM, (vi) south Myanmar 
or SM(Karenni Hills: 97° 00' Eand 19° 00' N to Victoria 
Point: 98° 00' E and 10° 00' N), (vii) Peninsular India 
or PI (Plains and hills of India south of the Himalayas, 
east of the Indus and west of Brahmaputra), (viii) Sri 



Lanka or SL, (ix) Andaman & Nicobar Islands or A&N 
of India. Butterfly species found in Baluchistan, Chitral 
and higher reaches (1 ,000-5,1 00 m) of the Himalaya (east, 
central and west) have strong Palaearctic affinities 
(Central Asian and Chinese subdivisions), whereas 
butterflies found in the Peninsular Indian, Malaysian and 
Indo-Chinese subdivisions have strong Oriental affinities. 
The drier low-lying areas of PI (Deccan and 
Indogangetic plains) also show affinity with the African 
region (Evans 1932, Wynter-Blyth 1957). 

Methodology 

Species totals of all the 5 commonly recognised 
butterfly families [Hesperiidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, 
Lycaenidae and Nymphalidae (Ackery 1984)]. found 
in the Indian subcontinent were gathered. Literature 
spanning 1 1 7 years ( 1 882- 1 999) across 69 areas of the 
Subcontinent was reviewed. However, in this paper, 
familywise species totals of only 56 areas, collected 




Fig. 1: Nine butterfly subregions of the Indian subcontinent and locations of collection sites 



80 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 



from 45 different sources of literature, have been used, 
as only these were based on comprehensive surveys 
for which (i) all the 5 butterfly families were sampled 
(ii) had a minimum collecting effort of > 2 years (51 
areas), (iii) showed no preference to a particular group 
for collection, (iv) covered all the 9 Indian butterfly 
subregions and (v) all the 14 major forest types 
(Champion and Seth 1968) found in the Subcontinent. 
The scientific names of butterflies used in the old records 
were updated and the species correctly placed in their 
respective families, based on the new nomenclature 
(Ackery 1984). The data was then analysed to derive 
the proportions of butterfly species in the 5 families from 
the 56 sites. The areas from which the data were used 
varied from smallest to the biggest site (sites < districts 
< states < sub-regions < the entire Subcontinent), and 
have been ranked on a spatial scale of 1-7, in an 
increasing order (Table 1 ). The details of the areas, their 
relative size, major vegetation types, collecting 
(sampling) effort and source of information are given 
in Table 1 . Data on the number of butterfly species per 
family found in each of these areas is summarised in 
Table 2. [For one site “Khasia and Jaintia hills” in 
northeast India, the species totals of 4 families had been 
published by the authors, leaving out the total for 
Hesperiidae, although collections for all the 5 major 
families were done. Hence, the regional proportion of 
Hesperiidae (22.2%) for northeast India was taken as 
an approximate estimate for this site and added to the 
actual species total (464) of the other 4 families 
collected (which thus represented 77.8% of the total 
butterfly species found in this area) to derive the total 
species richness of this area i.e. 596 species. In this 
study, the smallest area in the Subcontinent was New 
Forest, Dehra Dun (4.40 sq. km), which lies in the 
Tropical Moist Deciduous forest zone of the western 
Himalaya. 

However, the type of data used in this study is 
prone to error, including unequal sampling effort across 
areas. Under-recording of species is likely to affect 
the butterfly totals of the least rich areas more than 
those of the richest areas. At the site level, however, 
under-recording is likely to be greatest at the richest area. 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 

Patterns in Species Richness 

The proportions of at least 3 out of the 5 families 
(Papilionidae, Lycaenidae and Nymphalidae) are more 
or less independent of the total species richness, or size 
of the area, or forest type, or butterfly subregion, in the 
Indian subcontinent (Table 2; Figs. 2, 3). The 
comparatively invariant relationship exhibited by these 



families is simpler than the relationships shown by 
families Hesperiidae and Pieridae. The proportion of 
Hesperiidae increases with the total species richness, 
whereas that of Pieridae decreases (Fig. 2). This 
variation for these two families is more pronounced 
across the continuous mountainous subregions 
[Baluchi stan-Chitral-Himalayas (western-central- 
eastern)-Hills of Myanmar (north-south)] (Fig 1). The 
proportion of Hesperiidae, in general, increases from 
Baluchistan towards south Myanmar [BA(11.8) - CL 
(8.4) - WH (15.1) -CH (20.1) - NEI & NM (21.9) - 
SM (24.0)], whereas that of Pieridae decreases across 
the same region [BA (21.8) CL (18.1) - WH (10.1) - 
CH (9.9) - NEI & NM (5.9) - SM (5.1); Table 2], 

As proportions of the first 3 families are invariant 
and show a simple relation to the total species richness, 
it is possible to use the known species totals of the most 
suitable of these three groups in an area to estimate the 
total butterfly species richness of that area. Also, none 
of these 3 groups show ‘saturation’ (Beccaloni and 
Gaston 1 995), as their proportions do not decrease with 
the increase in total species richness. Therefore, all three 
are potential indicator groups. 

Selecting an indicator group 

For a group to be an indicator, there should be low 
variance in the relationship between the species richness 
of this group and that of the group we wish to predict 
(Beccaloni and Gaston 1995). Amongst the 3 families 
identified as potential indicators, Papilionidae (x = 7.030 1 ; 
SD = 1.1879; n = 51; CV = 16.90) and Lycaenidae 
(x = 29.0 1 5 1 ; SD = 3 .6779; n = 5 1 ; CV = 1 2.68) have 
low variance values (s 2 < x) for proportion (arcsin 
transformed) of species in families across the 
Subcontinent, as compared to Nymphalidae (x = 33 .4740; 
SD = 05.9583; n = 51; CV = 17.80) which exhibits a 
comparatively large variance (s 2 > x) across the same 
region. Thus, families Lycaenidae and Papilionidae are 
more suitable potential indicator groups than 
Nymphalidae for predicting species richness across the 
Subcontinent. 

Why choose Papilionidae over Lycaenidae as 
indicators? 

Papilionidae (commonly called Swallowtails) are 
taxonomically and ecologically well known in the Indian 
subcontinent, and the distribution of practically all the 
species is known. In contrast, many of the species in 
Family Lycaenidae are very difficult to identify and very 
little is known about their life history and ecology 
because of their obscure habits. Swallowtails (as the 
name suggests, most of them have tails on their hind 
wings) are (i) large in size (wing span: 5-19 cm for 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



81 



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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



83 



Table 1: Details of the areas taken in this study and sources from which the butterfly totals in Table II were obtained ( contd .) 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 



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84 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. ( 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 





Lycaenidae 


r = 0.185, 
p = 0.17, 


45 




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Nymphalidae r = 0.157, 

p =0.25, 






Papilionidae r = 0.074, 




p = 0.60 


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Total number of species 

Fig. 2: Relationship between the proportions of species in a given butterfly family (arcsine transformed) and 
overall butterfly species richness of collection sites (n=56) across the Indian subcontinent 



Indian species) (ii) very active and strong fliers during 
daylight, when they can be observed flying, or feeding 
on flower nectar, or mud puddling, but seldom concealing 
themselves in foliage or settling down to rest, and are 
also (iii) eyecatching and colourful, with contrasting 
black as their base colour. In contrast, most of the 
Lycaenidae are (i) very small or medium sized (wing 
span: 1.5-6 cm. for Indian species) (ii) cannot be easily 
identified in flight or even at rest, as allied species of the 
same genus have similar patterns on the underside of 



the wings and (iii) are not active fliers like Papilionidae, 
as they are unable to fly for long stretches and soon 
settle down to rest(Haribal 1992, Wynter-Blyth 1957). 
Also, Papilionidae with 94 species (7.01%) is also a 
smaller group to monitor than Lycaenidae with 459 
species (29.22%) (Table 2). All these unique characters 
of Papilionidae make it an easier group to observe, 
identify and sample than Lycaenidae. 

Besides, the average life span of adult Indian 
Papilionids ranges from 20-30 days to a maximum of 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



85 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 



■ Hesperidae(r * 0.32, p=C. 15) 

— — ■ Paplllonidae (r = - 0.09, p=0.53) 
— - — - Pieridae (r - - 0.35, p=0.01) 
Lycaenidae (r = 0.15, p=0.28) 




2 3 4 5 6 



Spatial Scale 

Fig. 3: Relationship between the proportion (%) of species 
in different families of butterflies and the spatial distribution 
of collection sites (n=56). Geographical scale (sq. km) 
1. <10, 2. >10 to 100, 3. >100 to 1000, 4. >1000 to 10,000, 
5. >10,000 to 1,00,000, 6. >1,00,000 to 10,00,000, 
7. >10,00,000 



4 months (Haribal 1992). Their flight period in the plains 
ranges from January to December with many 
overlapping generations, whereas in the hills they fly 
during summer, between April to September, and have 
1-3 generations (Wynter-Blyth 1957), thus Papilionidae 
can be sampled for a longer period in the year. 
Papilionidae are found in all types of habitats (gardens, 
forests, open areas, etc.) from the low lying Indian plains 
to as high as 5,100 m above msl in the Himalaya 
(Common Blue Apollo Parnassius hardwickei Gray) 





Percentage 



Fig. 5: Distribution of the Papilionidae proportions of different 
collection sites (n=56) across the Indian subcontinent 

(Wynter-Blyth 1957). A large proportion (14.5%) of the 
worldwide total of 650 Papilionid species is known to 
occur in the Indian subcontinent (Haribal 1992). 
Papilionid species richness in the Indian subcontinent 
peaks in NEI & NM where a large concentration is 
found [Sikkim (55 species in 7,299 sq. km: Haribal 1992); 
North-east India (62 species in 3,68,000 sq. km) and 
Myanmar (66 species in 6,76,577 sq. km): Wynter-Blyth 
1957], 

Are Papilionidae good indicators for predicting 
species richness? 

A strong positive relationship exists between 
Papilionidae species richness and the overall species 
richness (of all the other butterfly families) across 
56 different areas over the entire Indian subcontinent, 
and varying on different spatial scales [(1-7; Table 1) 
and ( r = 0.980, n =56,/? < 0.01; Fig. 4). The histogram 




Number of Papilionidae species 

Fig. 4: Plot of butterfly species richness (excluding 
Papilionidae) versus Papilionidae species richness for sites 
(n=56) across the Indian subcontinent 



Fig. 6: Relationship between the number of Papilionidae 
observed and expected to occur in different sites across the 
Subcontinent (expected values based on the assumption 
that Papilionidae constitute an invariant proportion of the 
total butterfly species found across the entire Subcontinent) 



86 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 



Table 2 Total butterfly species richness of areas in the Indian subcontinent and the proportion of species recorded in the families 



SI no 


Area 


Total 

Species 




Percentage of total 






Hespenidae 


Papilionidae 


Pieridae 


Lycaenidae 


Nymphalidae 


1. 


Indian subcontinent 


1439 


21.3(307) 


06.5(94) 


06.9 (99) 


31.8(459) 


33.3(480) 


2 


Baluchistan 


119 


11.8(14) 


05.0(6) 


21.8(26) 


28.6 (34) 


32.8(39) 


3. 


Chitral 


166 


08.4(14) 


06.6(11) 


18.1 (30) 


27.7 (46) 


39.2 (65) 


4. 


Chitral 


139 


10.8 


043 


15.8 


288 


403 


5. 


Western Himalaya 


417 


15.1 (63) 


07.4(31) 


10.1 (42) 


30.9(129) 


36.5(152) 


6. 


Kangra Hills 


228 


11.0 


101 


16.2 


24.6 


382 


7. 


Shimla Hills 


299 


13.7 


07.0 


11.4 


29.4 


38.5 


8 


Dehra Dun Valley (New Forest) 


148 


14.9 


07.4 


12.8 


28.4 


365 


9. 


Mussoorne Hills and adjoining areas 


323 


16.7 


07.1 


09.9 


27.3 


39.0 


10. 


Mussoorrie Town 


146 


09.6 


068 


08.9 


30.1 


445 


11. 


Kumaon Hills 


371 


140 


070 


10.0 


294 


39.6 


12. 


Central Himalayas (Nepal) 


623 


20.1 (125) 


06.9 (43) 


07.9(49) 


29.7(186) 


35.3(220) 


13 


North-East India + North Myanmar 962 


21.9(211) 


07.2 (69) 


05.9(57) 


29.5(283) 


35.5(342) 


14. 


Northeast India 


853 


22.2 


07.3 


06.1 


302 


34.2 


15 


Sikkim 


690 


230 


080 


07.4 


235 


38.1 


16 


Darjeeling district 


262 


103 


11.1 


122 


18.3 


48.1 


17. 


Naga Hills 


423 


159 


09.0 


07.1 


260 


41.8 


18 


Manipur and Naga Hills 


321 


37.1 


05.6 


00 3 


392 


17.8 


19 


Khasia Hills 


510 


192 


08 2 


070 


250 


40.5 


20 


Khasia and Jaintia Hills 


596 


22.2 


08.2 


06.7 


278 


347 


21 


Chin- Lushai (Mizoram) Hills 


276 


21.4 


047 


094 


279 


35.5 


22. 


N Chin and Upper Chindwin district 


320 


20.3 


07.5 


08.1 


25.3 


388 


23. 


Arakan Coast 


159 


13.2 


09.4 


13.2 


264 


37.7 


24 


Shan States 


228 


12.3 


07.0 


11.0 


281 


41.7 


25. 


South Myanmar 


788 


24.0(189) 


06.3 (50) 


05.1 (40) 


34.5(272) 


30.1 (237) 


26. 


Upper Tenasshum 


252 


19.8 


056 


10.7 


26 2 


377 


27. 


Tavoy district 


401 


12.0 


08.0 


07.0 


35.1 


37.9 


28. 


Mergui and its Archipelago 


208 


11.5 


07.2 


13.5 


25.5 


42.3 


29. 


Myanmar 


1039 


256 


06.3 


04.2 


32.5 


31.3 


30 


Peninsular India 


315 


23.5 (74) 


06.0(19) 


10.8(34) 


28.6 (90) 


31.1 (98) 


31 


Central Provinces 


147 


21.1 


06.1 


136 


23.8 


354 


32 


Calcutta 


167 


192 


06.0 


11.4 


34 1 


293 


33 


South Bihar 


124 


145 


07.3 


09 7 


37.1 


31.5 


34. 


North Bihar 


151 


12.9 


06.8 


15.0 


25.2 


40.1 


35 


Lucknow 


109 


13.8 


064 


174 


30 3 


32 1 


36 


Delhi 


77 


143 


052 


26 0 


286 


260 


37 


Mhow 


110 


109 


036 


26.4 


282 


30.9 


38 


Jodhpur and Mount Abu 


78 


179 


07.7 


26.9 


256 


21.8 


39 


Karachi 


70 


12.9 


04.3 


41.4 


18.6 


22.9 


40 


Sind Province 


59 


169 


05.1 


23.7 


322 


22.1 


41. 


Central Gujarat (Kathiawar) 


78 


14.1 


064 


24 4 


28.2 


26.9 


42 


North Gujarat (Kaira) 


59 


068 


08.5 


30.5 


288 


25.4 


43. 


South Gujarat 


145 


15.2 


069 


17.2 


31.7 


290 


44 


Bombay-Deccan (Pune) 


164 


11.6 


06.1 


30.5 


25.0 


26.8 


45. 


Konkan Coast 


130 


17.7 


085 


14.6 


26.9 


32.3 


46 


N Kanara district 


233 


24.0 


07.3 


094 


29.6 


29.6 


47 


Coong 


278 


21.6 


065 


11.2 


28.8 


299 


48 


Bangalore distnct 


140 


140 


06.4 


179 


357 


25.7 


49 


Travancore 


220 


16.8 


068 


11.8 


264 


37.3 


50 


Palm Hills 


249 


185 


060 


120 


333 


30.1 


51. 


Nilgiri Hills 


294 


21.8 


078 


11.9 


27.9 


306 


52 


Nagalapuram Hills (Eastern Ghats) 


117 


197 


10.3 


179 


26 5 


25.6 


53 


Secunderabad 


70 


10.0 


07.1 


200 


286 


343 


54 


Sri Lanka 


242 


19.8(48) 


06.2(15) 


12.0(29) 


33.9(82) 


28.1 (68) 


55. 


Andaman and Nicobar Islands 


217 


19.4 (42) 


06.0(13) 


09.2(20) 


31.3(68) 


34.1 (74) 


56 


Great Nicobar Island 


68 


07.3 


08.8 


14.7 


32.4 


368 



Values in parenthesis are species totals for nine butterfly sub-regions and the whole of the Indian subcontinent so far known 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



87 



MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS ACROSS THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT 



(Fig. 5) demonstrates that the variance of Papilionidae 
proportions across these areas is reasonably low, with 
Papilionidae constituting 6-8% of the butterfly species 
in 28 out of 56 areas (and 6. 5-7. 5% in 18 out of 
56 areas) in the Subcontinent. 

Five areas [Mhow, Chitral, Chin-Lushai (Mizo) 
Hills, Darjeeling Hills and Nagalapuram (Nagari) Hills; 
Table 2] could have been excluded from this analysis, 
thereby increasing the level of correlation. The first three 
have the lowest proportions of Papilionidae (Mhow 3 .6%, 
Chitral 4.3% and Chin Lushai 4.7%) of all areas. Data 
of Mhow and Chin-Lushai suffer from sampling error 
as less than one year of collecting effort was 
undertaken. However, data from Chitral also includes a 
large number of Palaearctic species besides the Oriental 
species (as this region has strong affinities with the 
Palaearctic region), which are likely to decrease the 
proportion of Oriental species. The last two areas, on 
the other hand, have the highest proportions of 
Papilionidae of all areas [Nagalapuram Hills (10.3%) 
and Darjeeling (11.1 %)]. Data from Nagalapuram Hills 
(with only 1 .5 years of sampling) is also under-sampled, 
particularly for Nymphalidae (Table 2). On the other 
hand, the exact sampling period for Darjeeling district is 
not mentioned in the original text (Maude 1 949) but the 
data reflects low sampling of species from this area, 
particularly those of the families Hesperiidae and 
Lycaenidae (Table 1). 

A combined data set for sites, districts, states and 
regions was tested against random draw model in which 
the proportion of Papilionidae in each area was assumed 
to equal that for the whole of the Subcontinent (6.5%). 
Correlation between the number of Papilionid species 

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CONCLUSION 

A reasonably invariant relationship exists between 
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families. 

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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



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Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



90-95 



NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED STORK 
{EPHIPPIORHYNCHUS ASIATICUS) AND WHITE-NECKED STORK 
(CICONIA EP1SCOPUS) IN KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK, BHARATPUR, INDIA 1 

Farah Ishtiaq 2 ' 3 ' 6 , Asad R. Rahmani 3 , Salim Javed 25 and Malcolm C. Coulter 4 



'Accepted August, 2001 

"Department of Wildlife Science, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 202 002, Uttar Pradesh, India. 

"Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, S.B. Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. 

Email: bnhs@bom4.vsnl.net.in 

4 P.O. Box 480, Chocorua, New Hampshire 03817, USA. Email: coultermc@aol.com 

"Present Address: Environmental Research & Wildlife Development Agency, PO Box 45553, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 
Email: sjaved@erwda.gov.ae 

Present Address: Genetics Program, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution, 3001 Connecticut Avenue, 

NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA. Email: farahishtiaq@yahoo.com 

Studies conducted in the Keoladeo National Park during 1994-1997 on nest-site selection in the Black- 
necked Stork ( Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus ) and White-necked Stork ( Ciconia episcopus) showed that 
girth at breast height (GBH), height and canopy spread were the major factors governing the placement of 
nests. There were significant differences between the height, canopy spread, and GBH of nesting and non- 
nesting trees used by the two stork species. The Black-necked Stork nested on top canopies of tall Babool 
Acacia nilotica trees with high GBH, while the White-necked Stork nested on Mitragyna parvifolia , in the 
dense middle foliage. 

Key words: black-necked stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus , white-necked stork, Ciconia episcopus , nest- 
site, Keoladeo National Park, India 



INTRODUCTION 

Selection of a safe nesting site is among the prime 
concerns of all birds because nest location is a major 
factor that governs the successful rearing of chicks. The 
selected site should provide protection against predation 
of eggs and nestlings. If the chicks were altricial an 
appropriate site would provide protection against difficult 
environmental conditions (Walsberg and King 1978), 
avian predators and structurally support the nest (Burger 
1974). Selection of a nesting tree, height of the nest, 
location of the nest on the tree, and social and vegetation 
factors influence nesting (Beaver et al. 1980; Burger 
and Gochfeld 1981; Parsons 1982; Clark et al. 1983; 
Donazar et al. 1993; Thompson and Slack 1982). This 
study on the Black-necked and White-necked Storks 
was conducted during a study of their breeding and feeding 
ecology in Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur, India. 

The White-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus 
forages in shallow wetlands up to 20 cm deep to flooded 
grassland (Ishtiaq 1998). It feeds on small fishes, 
earthworms and amphibians. These shallow feeding sites 
are ephemeral in nature and the White-necked Stork 
uses sites outside as well as inside the Keoladeo National 
Park. The Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus 
asiaticus feeds in deep water up to 35 cm. It is a 
generalist, feeding on a wide variety of large items, 
including fishes. Common Coot Fulica atra , Northern 
Shoveller Anas clypeata , Pheasant-tailed Jacana 



Hydrophasianus chirurgus and snakes (Ishtiaq 1998). 
It feeds inside and outside the Park. 

In northern India, the nesting season of the White- 
necked Stork begins before the onset of monsoon, which 
varies, but usually begins in June and lasts through 
September. Black-necked Stork starts breeding by the 
end of September up to January (after the monsoon). 
Like other wading birds, the breeding success of the 
Black-necked Stork depends on the amount of rainfall 
and time of water released inside the Keoladeo National 
Park. Monsoon acts as a trigger for breeding and water 
brings about 1 9 million fingerlings(Vijayan 1991), which 
are well grown by the time the Black-necked Stork starts 
nesting. The rejuvenation of the insect and earthworm 
supply due to the monsoon provides food for the White- 
necked Stork. 

The status of the White-necked Stork in the Park 
was neglected in the past, and no nest counts had been 
conducted within the Park. The population of the Black- 
necked Stork, in contrast, has been well studied, 
and is stable at about six pairs (Rahmani 1 989). The present 
study was the first investigation of nest-site selection in 
both the stork species in Keoladeo National Park. 

STUDY AREA 

The Keoladeo National Park is located at 
Bharatpur, Rajasthan (27° 7.6' to 27° 12.2' N, 
77° 33.9' E) (Vijayan 1991), and has an area of 



NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED AND WHITE-NECKED STORK 



29 sq. km. Eight sq. km of the wetland is divided into 
1 5 (A-O) compartments (blocks) by earthen dykes and 
the remaining constitute terrestrial habitats. The boundary 
of the Park is demarcated by a masonry wall and is 
surrounded by 1 8 villages. Although grazing of domestic 
cattle and buffalo has been banned, the villagers are 
still allowed to collect fodder from the Park during April- 
June. 

The climate of Bharatpur is tropical, sub-humid to 
semiarid, and it experiences climatic extremes from a 
hot, dry summer (April-June) to a cool winter 
(November-January) and short monsoon (July- 
September) and post-monsoon (September-October) 
seasons. The flora of Bharatpur has been intensively 
studied (Prasad et al. 1996), and is a mixture of 
xerophytic and semi-xerophytic species including 
Acacia ni/otica, Prosopis cineraria and Salvadora 
oleoides. 

Keoladeo National Park is located at the 
confluence of two rivers, the Banganga and Gambhir, 
which bring water to the Ajanbund reservoir. Water is 
brought to the Park through the Ghana canal in July and 
August, and the bund is emptied in October. The flow 
of water in the Park is regulated by sluice gates. Vijayan 
(1991 ) has studied the ecology of this monsoonal wetland 
in detail for ten years. 

METHODS 

During the study period from 1 994- 1 997, nests of 
the Black-necked and White-necked Storks were 
identified by following adults collecting nesting material, 
to the nesting tree. Each nesting tree was sampled for 
vegetation structure to analyse selection strategies. 
Sampling of nest trees was done using belt transects 
6 m (3 m on both sides) wide and 30 m long in four 
directions from the nesting tree. All the trees within this 
transect were identified up to species level. 
Measurements were taken from each nest tree for girth 
at breast height (GBH) >30 cm, height >2 m, tree species 
and canopy spread. Sampling of nesting trees was done 
after the breeding season to minimize disturbance. 

Nest material and nest dimensions were also 
recorded. The variables measured were as follows: 

1. Nesting tree species: structure of the tree and its 
ability to support the nest. 

2. Tree height: the height of the tree was estimated 
visually. 

3. Girth at breast height (GBH): The diameter of the 
tree at the height of 1 .5 m. 

4. Canopy spread: the length and breadth of the canopy 
of the nesting tree was measured. 



5 . Water depth : depth of water around the nesting tree 
that protects the nest from predators. The water 
depth was recorded at least three times during the 
nesting season. 

6. Distance to feeding area: the nearest block 
unoccupied by a conspecific nest and holding 
water. 

7. Distance to Park boundary: the shortest distance to 
the Park boundary from the nesting tree; this allows 
a measure of the number of trips made by the adults 
as they go for feeding after the sudden rise in water 
level soon after the water is released, as well as 
proximity to human activity. 

8. Distance to water source outside the Park: the 
presence of wetlands outside the Park boundary as 
a measure of proximity to foraging areas. 

9. Distance to road: the road nearest to the nesting 
tree, to know the distance from human disturbance, 
especially grass-cutters. 

10. Distance to nest: the distance to the nest of other 
nesting species that could be potential predators, 
such as raptors, large owls. 

Analyses 

We used a multi-variate ordination technique, 
Principal Component Analysis (PCA). PCA was 
performed on the nesting data to determine the important 
factor(s) responsible for nest site selection in Black- 
necked and White-necked Storks. All analyses were 
performed on STATA5.0 (STATA Corp. 1997) and 
SPSS 6. 1 (Norussis 1 994). We did a logistic regression 
on the nest-site selection variables and t-tests on 
differences between nesting and non-nesting trees of 
White-necked and Black-necked Storks. 

RESULTS 

Nest characteristics of the White-necked Stork 

A total of 15 nests of White-necked Storks were 
counted during 1994-1997. However, not much 
information was gathered during 1 994 as breeding was 
over by the time we started the study. Nests were found 
on two tree species. The White-necked Storks used 
Mitragyna parvifolia (12 nests) inside the Park, and 
Da/bergia sissoo when outside the Park (3 nests). The 
mean height of the nests from the ground was (mean 
±s.d.) 4.5 ±1.3 m (n=6). All the nests were located in 
the dense middle strata of the tree. The mean depth of 
four nests was 14.74 ±10.50 cm, mean length was 
93.45 ±4 1 . 19 cm and mean breadth was 67.97 ±39.93 cm 
(mean ±s.d.). 

Both sexes take part in nest construction and 
incubation. In the White-necked Stork, both male and 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



91 



NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED AND WHITE-NECKED STORK 



female brought nesting material, including green leaves 
of Mitragyna parvifolia, Prosopis j ul if! or a, Capparis 
decidua, Panicum paludosum , Paspalum distichum, 
Kirgnelia reticulata, Syzigium cumini and dry blades 
of Khus grass ( Vetiveria zizanioides). 

Nest characteristics of the Black-necked Stork 

During the study period, six pairs of Black-necked 
Stork were seen inside the Park. The nesting trees of 
the Black-necked Stork for most of the pairs in Keoladeo 
National Park remained unchanged during the study 
period (Ishtiaq 1998). A total of 12 nests were 
constructed during 1 994- 1 996; all the nesting trees were 
surrounded by water. In 1 994, three nests were located 
while in 1 995, four nests were found, and in 1 996, five 
nests were located of which one pair had reconstructed 
the nest in the same year on a different tree. Four species 
of nesting trees were identified; Acacia nilotica 
(7 nests), Acacia leucoph/oea (2 nests), Mitragyna 
parvifolia (1 nest), and Prosopis cineraria (2 nests). 
Acacia nilotica was most commonly used among all 
the tree species and all nests were on the top canopy, 
12-15 m high. Some of the trees used for nesting were 
covered with climbers such as Cryptostegia 
grandiflora. This species with its thorn and dense 
growth provides good support and protection to the nest 
from potential predators, such as Jungle Cat Felis chaus. 
Nest dimensions could not be taken for each nest owing 
to the height of the tree while some nests were 
constructed on an inaccessible branch. The mean nest 
depth was 133.84 ±32.66 cm, mean length was 109.3 
±39.99 cm, and mean breadth was 19.5 ±12.62 cm 
(mean ±s.d.). 

Both the sexes of Black-necked Stork participated 
in bringing nesting material, like Cryptostegia grandiflora, 
tufts of Vetiveria zizanioides , Acacia nilotica, Mitragyna 
parvifolia, grasses like Paspalum distichum, and a few 
bulbs of water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes. 

Nest-site selection in White-necked Stork 

The principal component analysis for nest-site 
characteristics in White-necked Stork extracted three 
factors with Eigen values greater than 1 .0. Loading of 
nest site characteristic variables on the three compo- 
nents can be interpreted as the relative importance of 
different factors. The first three components explained 
98% of the total variation in nest site selection 
(Table 1 ), while the first component accounted for 51% 
of the total variance. The first component has high 
positive loadings for GBH (trees with high basal area), 
water sources outside the Park, and distance to road 
and distance to the Park boundary from the nesting tree 
(e.g., protection from disturbance). The second 



component accounted for an additional 36% of the total 
variance. This component has high loadings for canopy 
spread (e.g., dense foliage), distance to nest of other 
species and water source inside the Park (e.g., shorter 
distances to feeding sites). The third component 
accounted for 11% of the total variance. On this 
component, tree height was highly positively correlated. 

Nest-site selection in Black-necked Stork 

Principal component analysis performed on all the 
variables showed three main factors (Table 2). The first 
three principal components explained 70% of the 
variation in nest site characteristics. The first component 
accounted for 30% of the total variance. The first 
principal component has high loadings for canopy spread, 
GBH, distance to road, distance to nest, and tree height. 
These high values suggest that the most important 
factors are size of the tree and avoidance of disturbance 
around the nesting site. The second component 
accounted for an additional 27% of the total variance. 
This component has high loading for land area, park 
boundary and distance to road. The high values 
correspond to increase in distance to land area and from 
the Park boundary to avoid disturbance by villagers. The 
third component accounted for 1 3% of the total variance. 
The water level is highly positively correlated on the 
third component, but no single factor made a prominent 
contribution. 

Difference between nesting and non-nesting trees 
of Black-necked and White-necked Storks 

In both the species, t-tests showed significant 
difference between height, canopy spread, and GBH of 
nesting and non-nesting trees. Nesting and non-nesting 
trees differed highly significantly for both species 



Table 1: Principal Component Analysis results of habitat 
variables of White-necked Stork nest site 



Habitat Variables 


Principal Components 




1 


II 


III 


Tree Height 


-0.555 


0.608 


0.568 


Canopy spread 


-0.017 


0.834 


-0.551 


Girth at breast height 


0.922 


-0.004 


-0.384 


Water source 


-0.291 


0.948 


-0.049 


Park boundary 


0.960 


-0.006 


0.279 


Distance to road 


0 898 


0.413 


0.153 


Distance to nest 


0.460 


0.878 


0.047 


Water source outside the Park 


0.955 


-0.144 


0.258 


Explained Variance 
Cumulative Percent Variation 


51.1 


36.5 


11.8 


Explained 


51.1 


87.6 


99.4 



92 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED AND WHITE-NECKED STORK 



Table 2: Principal Component Analysis results of habitat 
variables of Black-necked Stork nest site 



Habitat Variables 


Principal Components 




1 


II 


III 


Tree Height 


0.544 


-0.592 


0.196 


Girth at breast height 


0.774 


-0.089 


0.531 


Canopy spread 


0.817 


-0.130 


0.101 


Water source 


0.474 


-0.330 


-0.368 


Land area 


0.411 


0.774 


-0.252 


Park boundary 


-0.247 


0.827 


0.039 


Water source outside 


0.443 


0.429 


-0 567 


Distance to road 


0.612 


0.677 


0.144 


Distance to nest 


-0.633 


-0 010 


0.097 


Water depth 


-0.132 


0.544 


0.671 


Explained Variance 
Cumulative Percent Variation 


30.0 


27.0 


13.3 


Explained 


30.0 


57.0 


70.3 



(see details in Table 3). We found that most of the nesting 
trees were significantly taller and bigger than the non- 
nesting trees. 

DISCUSSION 

In both species, nest-site selection involves a joint 
selection by male and female (Ishtiaq 1998). In both 
species, the major factors for selecting the nesting sites 
were found to be tree height, GBH and the canopy 
spread. All the nesting trees were tall with large GBH 
and dense canopy spreads, which provided protection 
from predation. The nests of Black-necked Stork were 
on the top canopy, from where most of the surrounding 
area was visible, and from which take-off and landing 
for these large birds was easy. This contrasts with the 
White-necked Stork, which preferred to nest in the 



middle, dense and hidden strata of the tree. The nesting 
trees of the White-necked Stork were mostly surrounded 
by the Acacia nilotica woodland and flooded 
grasslands. 

All the nests of White-necked Stork found in the 
Park were located on Mitragyna parvifolia trees, while 
outside the Park Dalbergia sissoo was used. The main 
reason for this could be that the wood of Mitragyna 
parvifolia is used by locals for many purposes and 
therefore has a high market value; hence it is not common 
outside the Park. In fact, due to its high commercial 
value it has often been illegally removed from the Park. 
Nests of the White-necked Stork on Mitragyna 
parvifolia are well hidden, as its foliage is denser than 
that of Dalbergia sissoo. Given a chance, the storks 
would nest on Mitragyna parvifolia , but in its absence 
outside the protected area, Dalbergia sissoo was the 
alternative as it had the advantage of height. 

The Black-necked Stork uses Acacia nilotica 
probably due to the presence of thorns, which makes its 
nests inaccessible to many predators. Whenever 
Mitragyna parvifolia was selected as a nesting-site, 
the trees were either very tall or dense or covered by 
the climber Cryptostegia grandiflora that has dense 
thorns. Their nests were located on an inaccessible 
branch, making them difficult for any ground predator 
to reach. 

The selection of nest-site is an important task 
in solitary as well as colonial breeders. Solitary breeders 
have different strategies for avoiding risk of predation 
and thus selection of safe nesting sites is important for 
successful breeding (Frederick and Collopy 1989). 

As expected, water level is a significant factor in 
determining the nest-site selection in Black-necked Stork. 
One pair of Black-necked Storks was observed 
attempting to nest in the Ajanbund area for two 



Table 3: Comparison between nesting and non-nesting trees of Black-necked Stork and White-necked Stork 



Black-necked Stork 


Tree Variables 


Nesting Tree* 


Non-Nesting Tree* 


P Value 




(n=12) 


(n=95) 




Tree Height 


908.33 ±71.20 


671.68 ±23.61 


0.0012 


Tree GBH 


183.33 ±20.55 


104.93 ±5.97 


0.000 


Canopy Spread 


761.6 ±179.81 


410 ±29.24 


0.0009 


White-necked Stork 




(n=15) 


(n=45) 




Tree Height 


329.66 ±162.40 


113.85 ±184.59 


0.0552 


Tree GBH 


650 ±151.65 


208.88 ±174 28 


0.0000 


Canopy Spread 


483.33 ±421.50 


642.22 ±135.66 


0.0090 


*AII values are in cm 
Values are mean ±s.d. 








P value for t-test comparing nesting and non-nesting trees 







J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



93 



NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED AND WHITE-NECKED STORK 



consecutive years during monsoon. As soon as the water 
was drained, the pair abandoned the nest and selected 
another site. Presence of water around the nesting tree 
reduces the risk of predation by ground predators like 
the Jungle Cat Felis chans. It also reduces the 
accessibility to locals who frequently visit the Park to 
cut grass, sometimes very close. 

Presence of water around the nesting sites of 
White-necked Stork was not important, as they need 
shallow water sites for foraging. During the initial months 
of nesting, water was found around all the nesting trees, 
but it gradually dried up by the time chicks had fledged 
and were ready to leave the nest. Another reason could 
be that birds usually prefer their nesting sites within the 
foraging site so as to reduce the number of trips to the 
nest. Closer feeding sites also help in increased vigilance 
of the nest and minimise chances of predation. 

The relationship between changes in water level 
and foraging of wading birds has been demonstrated 
for a number of species (Kushlan 1978). The Wood 
Stork Mycteria americana started nesting when the 
water reached a certain level (Kahl 1964). In the 
White-necked Stork, nest-site selection and egg-laying 
occur before the onset of the monsoon when the 
water level is ideal for foraging inside the Park. But 
soon after the rains when the area is flooded, the foraging 
site is affected, as this species needs shallow feeding 
grounds. 

Some nests of White-necked Stork were found 
near the Park boundary, which was perhaps due to the 
preference for feeding areas outside the Park. These 
are shallow water bodies like roadside puddles and pools, 
and provide ample opportunity to the stork to increase 
its foraging efficiency as the nesting coincides with the 
time of release of water inside the Park. The release of 
water results in a sudden rise in its level, disturbing the 
traditional foraging sites of many shallow water birds, 
forcing them to move out in search of food which is 
easily found along the roadside puddles and pools. These 
small waterbodies provide an ideal habitat for the White- 
necked Stork as well. 

Nest predation has a significant role in the evolution 
of many aspects of avian nesting behaviour (Lack 1 968, 
Burger 1 982). Among Ciconiiformes, there is almost no 
group or individual nest defence behaviour, and even 
low predation is apparently capable of destroy- 
ing very large colonies (Baker 1940; Sheilds and Parnell 
1986; Rodgers 1987). We never saw predation on 
Black-necked and White-necked Stork nests during the 
study period. White-necked Storks nest during the 
monsoon, when no migratory raptor species is present, 
and by the time the large raptors (Greater Spotted 
Eagle Aquila clanga. Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila 



heliaca ) start coming, stork chicks are fledged and 
leave their nesting sites. Late-nesting storks often suffer 
loss of chicks by eagle predation, this has been 
reported by Naoroji ( 1 990) and observed by us several 
times in the colony of Painted Storks Mycteria 
leucocepha/a. 

In Keoladeo National Park, the abundance of food 
and near absence of raptors during summer, and the 
controlled regulation of the water level in the wetland 
(blocks) help in successful breeding of the storks each 
year. For nesting trees, which were not surrounded by 
water, there was no potential predator for the White- 
necked Storks except perhaps the Jungle Cat. We never 
observed any mortality due to predation on this solitary 
species. 

There was intraspecific competition for nest-sites 
in the Park, and the White-backed Vulture Gyps 
bengalensis was the only other species directly 
competing with storks for nest-sites. For two years, a 
pair of Black-necked Stork was forced to leave a half- 
constructed nest due to the presence of vultures. In the 
case of White-necked Stork as well, vultures once 
successfully expelled the storks from the selected site 
(Ishtiaq 1998). 

Birds often re-use their nesting site based on their 
past experiences (Butler 1 993). We found that two nests 
were re-used by the White-necked and Black-necked 
Stork in consecutive years. 

Bird populations are regulated by territorial 
behaviour (Lack 1968; Fretwell and Lucas 1970; 
Patterson 1980). Based on the movement of individuals, 
it was found that the Black-necked Stork is a highly 
territorial bird, and a pair does not allow other pairs or 
solitary individuals in its territory. A nearly stable 
population of six adult pairs of Black-necked Storks and 
the presence of sub-adults during the non-breeding 
season in the Park suggests that all the potential 
territories are already occupied and there would be quick 
replacement if an individual or a pair disappears or dies. 

Based on the ecology of Black-necked and White- 
necked Storks, it can be concluded that the two species 
utilise different habitats owing to their feeding 
preferences and behaviour. The Black-necked pre- 
ferred to nest slightly later in the season when the 
food supply was plentiful and prey were large. They 
also nested on tall trees with high Girth at Breast Height 
(GBH) and canopy to support a comparatively large 
platform for the nest. The nesting ecology of the White- 
necked Stork is different, as it prefers to feed on small 
food items in shallow water bodies (sites that are 
numerous soon after the monsoon) and the nests are 
usually made in the middle, dense part of the tree with 
high GBH. 



94 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED AND WHITE-NECKED STORK 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank the US Fish & Wildlife Service and 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt of India for 
sponsoring the Stork Ecology Project through which this 

study was conducted. We greatly appreciate the co- 

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Baker, R.H. (1940): Crow predation on heron nesting colonies. 
Wilson Bull. 52: 124-125. 

Beaver, D.L., R.G. Osborn & T.W. Custer (1980): Nest-site and 
colony characteristics of wading birds in selected Atlantic 
coast colonies. Wilson Bull. 92(2): 200-220. 

Burger, J. (1974): Determinants of colony and nest-site selection in 
the silver grebe (Podiceps occipitalus) and Rolland’s grebe 
(Rollandia rolland). Condor 76: 301-306. 

Burger, J. ( 1982): The role of reproductive success in colony site 
selection and abandonment in black skimmer Rynchops niger. 
Auk 99: 109-115. 

Burger, J. & M. Gochfeld ( 1 98 1 ): Nest site selection by Kelp gulls 
in southern. Africa. Condor 83: 243-25 1 . 

Butler, R.H. ( 1 993): Time of breeding in relation to food availability 
to female great blue herons. The Auk 1 10: 643-701 . 

Clark, L„ R.E. Ricklefs & R.W. Schreiber (1983): Nest-site selection 
by the red-tailed tropicbird. Auk 100: 953-959. 

Donazar, J.A., F. Hiraldo & J. Bustamante (1993). Factors 
influencing nest site selection, breeding density and breeding 
success in the bearded vulture (Gvpaetus barbalus). J. Applied 
Ecology 30: 504-5 1 4. 

Frederick, RC. &. M.W. Collopy (1989): The role of predation in 
determining reproductive success of colonially nesting wading 
birds in the Florida everglades. Condor 91 : 860-867. 

Fretwell, S.D. & H.L. Lucas (1970): On territorial behaviour and 
other factors influencing habitat distribution in birds. Acta 
Biotheoretica 19: 16-36. 

Ishtiaq, F. ( 1 998): Comparative ecology and behaviour of storks in 
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Ph.D. Thesis. 
Aligarh Muslim University. 165 pp. (unpubl.) 

Kahl, M.P. (1964): The food ecology of the wood stork Mycteria 
americana. Ecol. Monogr. 34: 97-117. 

Kushlan, J .A. (1978): Feeding ecology of wading birds. Pp. 249- 



operation of the Rajasthan Forest Department, especially 
the staff of Keoladeo National Park (KNP) and 
Ms. Shruti Sharma, Director, KNP, for help extended 
during the study period. We also owe sincere thanks to 
Dr. Pamela Rasmussen and Dr. Joanna Burger for 
valuable comments on the manuscript. 

N C E S 

296. In: Wading Birds (Eds: Sprunt IV. A.. J.C. Ogden & 
S. Winkler) New York, USA: National Audubon Society. 
Lack, D (1968): Ecological adaptations for feeding in birds. Methuen 
& Co., London. 

Naoroji. R. (1990): Predation by Aquila eagles on nesting storks 
and herons in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur. J Bombay 
nat. Hist. Soc. 87: 37-46. 

Norussis (1994): SPSS 6. 1 SPSS Inc. 444 North Michigan Avenue, 
Chicago, IL 6061 1 . 

Parsons, K.C. (1982): Nest-site habitat and hatching success of 
gulls. Colonial Waterbirds 5: 131-138. 

Patterson, I.J. (1980): Territorial behaviour and the limitations of 
population density. The Ardea 68: 53-62. 

Prasad, V.P, Daniel Mayson, E. Marburger & C.R. Ajith Kumar 
(1996): Illustrated Flora of Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, 
Rajasthan. Bombay Natural History Society, OUP. 435 pp. 
Rahmani, A.R. (1989): Status of blacknecked stork Ephippiorhynchus 
asiaticus in Indian subcontinent. Forktail 5: 99-1 10. 
Rodgers, J.A. Jr. (1987): On the antipredation advantages of 
colonial ity: a word of caution. Wilson Bull. 99: 269-270. 
Shields, M. A. & J. Parnell ( 1 986): Fish crow predation on eggs of 
the white ibis at Battery Island. North Carolina. Auk 103: 
531-539. 

STATA Corp. (1997): Stata Statistical Software: Release 5.0 College 
Station, TX; Stata Corporation. 

Thompson, B.C. & R.D. Slack (1982). Physical aspects of colony 
selection by least terns on the Texas coast. Colonial Waterbirds 
5: 161-168. 

Vijayan, V.S. (1991): The Ecology of Keoladeo National Park. Final 
Report 1981-1991. Bombay Natural History Society, 
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Walsberg, G.E. & J.R. King (1978): The energetic consequences of 
incubation for two passerine species. Auk 95: 644-655. 



3. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



95 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



96-105 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF SOME SOUTH 
INDIAN BUTTERFLY SPECIES' 

J.B. Atluri 2 , C. Subba Reddi 3 and S.P. Venkata Ramana 2 

'Accepted July 2002 

department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530 003, Andhra Pradesh, India. 

Email: Samatha_mail@yahoo.com 

department of Environmental Sciences, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530 003, India. 

Life history parameters, such as pattern of egg laying, hatching, larval and pupal period and the total period 
from egg to emergence of adult of 14 butterfly species, distributed at Visakhapatnam are described. Larval 
performance with respect to consumption index (Cl) and growth rate (GR), and estimation of nutritional 
indices like approximate digestibility (AD), efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD) and efficiency of 
conversion of ingested food (EC1) is presented. 

Acraea terpsicore and Anaphaeis aurota lay eggs in clusters, and the other 12 species lay single eggs. The 
hatching, larval and pupal periods, and ultimately the total period for the development of egg to the emergence 
of adult are longer (40-48 days) in Pachliopta hector and P. aristolochiae than in other Papilionids, and 
taxonomic groups. The larvae of each of the 14 species pass through five instars, and the last two instars 
have a major share of the total food consumed over the entire larval period. The consumption index (Cl) 
values of these two instars ranged from 0.60 to 3.50. Among the five instars, the first shows the highest Cl 
in all the 14 species and the values tend to decrease progressively through the successive instars. The AD 
values and food consumption are inversely related. The AD value is highest in the first instar and lowest in 
the fifth instar, the values ranging from 86 to 99.5%. The ECD values show a general decrease from the early 
to the late instars. The ECI values range from 1 9-60% for Anaphaeis aurota and from 2-34% for others, with 
most falling between 1 0% and 20%. 

Key words: Butterflies, life history, larval performance, nutritional indices, conservation 

Therefore, detailed life history studies to assess the 
performance of larvae with respect to food consumption, 
utilisation and growth are necessary. Here, we report 
the results from assays of pre-adult stages (egg, larva, 
pupa and egg to adult), and the food consumption, 
utilisation and growth indices of larvae of 14 butterfly 
species based on laboratory studies conducted in the 
Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. 

METHODS 

Study Locality: 

The present study was carried out from 1 996-1998 
at Visakhapatnam, located on the east coast of India in 
the State of Andhra Pradesh between 1 7° 42' N and 
82° 1 8' E. The climate is typically coastal, dominated 
by two monsoons, the southwest (June-September) and 
the northeast (December-February). The period from 
October through November is cyclone prone. Total 
annual rainfall ranges between 100-150 cm with most 
of the precipitation occurring during June-October. The 
maximum temperature varies between 35-40 °C 
experienced mostly in May-June, and the minimum 
between 18-20°C experienced mostly in January- 
February. During the rainy season, many herbs and 



INTRODUCTION 

Over billions of years, evolution has established a 
balance in the ecological functioning of various 
organisms. However, as human societies developed and 
flourished, considerable disturbance and destruction of 
habitats of various organisms, resulted in the decline and 
extinction of several species. Butterflies considered as 
beneficial insects are no exception to the adverse effects 
of human civilizations. They are important natural 
resources as they (1) help in pollination, a key process 
in natural propagation, (2) are important ecological 
indicators as they are closely associated with plants both 
as adults and as larvae, (3) have an important place in 
the web of life, and (4) enhance the aesthetic value of 
the environment by their exquisite wing colours. Hence, 
there is an increasing global interest in conserving and 
managing butterflies (New et al. 1995). A complete 
understanding of the requirements of butterflies is the 
key to their successful conservation and management, 
but such knowledge on Indian butterflies is woefully 
inadequate (Gay et al. 1992). 

Butterflies are holonietabolous, and their 
reproductive output depends on the combined effect of 
larvae and adult derived nutrients (Boggs 1981). 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



shrubs appear, and the suburban vegetation is 
mainly deciduous scrub jungle. The whole area is 
subject to human disturbance because of urban 
expansion. 

Breeding season, oviposition and larval host 
plants of the butterflies were observed at two sites: 

(1) the Andhra University campus spread over 
0.5 sq. km, it enjoys both wild and cultivated flora, and 

(2) the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park and its 
neighbourhood with semi-protected forest area, spread 
over one sq. km. Representative samples of butterflies 
were collected at 10 day intervals from both the sites, 
by stalking or chasing the fast flying species or by gently 
sweeping the low flying species. The specimens 
collected were identified from Wynter-Blyth (1957); 
Varshney ( 1 980, 1 985) was referred to for nomenclature. 
For each of the 14 butterflies species of the present 
study, ovipositing activity was observed and larval host 
plants recorded. 

Laboratory study 

Life History: The breeding females were 
watched during the breeding season, and the fresh eggs 
laid were collected in petri dishes (9.5 cm diameter) 
along with the plant material on which they were laid. 
These were incubated at room temperature ( c . 28 °C) 
in the laboratory. Irrespective of the number of eggs 
laid, only one leaf was kept in each petri dish and 
watched at 6 hour intervals to record the hatching time. 
The intervals were shortened if necessary after 
preliminary observations. The larvae that hatched were 
also observed at fixed intervals for moulting until they 
pupated. Based on the number of moults, the number 
of instars for each species was determined. As the 
larvae completed their first or second instar stage, 
each was maintained in a larger petri dish (15.5 cm) 
to facilitate free movement. The egg, individual 
larval instar, pupal and egg to adult duration were 
recorded. Five replicates were maintained for each 
species. 

Food consumption and utilisation: Food was 
changed daily and the petri dishes were kept clean by 
removing the food remains and faecal matter, which 
were later weighed and disposed of. For every instar, 
its initial and final weight was taken and the weight gain 
noted. After preliminary observations of food consumed 
by the larvae, 5-10 leaves were weighed and given to 
the larvae. The total food consumed by the larvae was 
calculated at the end of each instar period. Mean and 
standard deviations were estimated for food consumed, 
weight of faeces and weight gained by the larvae. The 
following parameters were estimated as in Waldbauer 
(1968). 



Wt. of food consumed 

Cl (Consumption = 

index) Wt. of instar x 

Number of feeding days 

Wt. gain of instar 



GR (Growth rate) = 





Mean Wt. of instar x 




Number of feeding days 




Wt. of food consumed - 


AD (Approximate 


Wt. of faeces 


digestibility) = 


X 




Wt. of food consumed 


ECD (Efficiency 


Wt. gain of instar 


of conversion = 


x 100 


of digested food) 


Wt. of food consumed - 




Wt. of faeces 


ECI (Efficiency 


Wt. gain of instar 


of conversion - 


x 100 


of ingested food) 


Wt. of food consumed 



RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 



In all, 14 butterfly species have been examined 
for their oviposition, plant species used for ovipositing, 
and pattern of egg laying (Table 1 ). Egg, larval and pupal 
duration, and total egg to adult development time are 
summarized in Table 2. Food consumption, growth and 
utilization indices are given Tables 3-8. 

Egg laying pattern and hatching duration 

Of the 14 species of butterflies studied, 12 species 
lay single eggs, and the other two in clusters. Anaphaeis 
aurota (Family Pieridae) and Acraea terpsicore (Family 
Acraeidae) are cluster layers. The nymphalid Junonia 
lemonias, the two danaids, the six papilionids and the 
other three pierids are all single egg layers. Single egg 
laying habit dominates over cluster laying habit among 
butterfly species of most geographical areas (Thompson 
and Pellmyr 1991). Though the number of species 
examined in the present study is low, this study suggests 
a similar tendency. Based on the information provided 
by Ford (1957), Stamp (1980) estimated that 2.5% of 
the butterfly species in India are cluster layers, while 
the others lay single eggs. However, some reports show 
the influence of ecological conditions on egg laying 
pattern (Larsen 1988; Davies and Gilbert 1985). As 
such, a closer study is required on the pattern of egg 
laying in different ecological situations. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



97 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



Table 1: List of the 14 butterfly species studied, their oviposition plants and egg laying patterns 



Butterfly species 


Oviposition plants 


Patterns of egg laying 


ACRAEIDAE 


Acraea terpsicore 


Hybanthus ennaespermus 


Cluster (4-6) 


DANAIDAE 


Danaus chrysippus 


Calotropis gigantea 


Single 


Euploea core 


Nerium odorum 


Single 


NYMPHALIDAE 


Junonia lemonias 


Asystasia gangetica 


Single 


PAPILIONIDAE 


Graphium doson i 


Polyalthia longifolia 


Single 


Graphium agamemnon J 


1 




Pachliopta hector i 


1 Aristolochia indica 


Single 


Pachliopta aristolochiae J 


Aristolochia bracteolata 


Single 


Papilio polytes 


Murraya koenigii 


Single 


Princeps demoleus 


Citrus limon 


Single 


PIERIDAE 


Colotis danae 


Cadaba fruticosa 


Single 


Anaphaeis aurota 


Capparis spinosa 


Cluster (15-55) 


Catopsilia pyranthe 


Cassia siamea 


Single 


Eurema hecabe 


Cassia tora 


Single 



According to Chew and Robbins ( 1 984), the species 
with a single egg laying habit generally use small plants as 
larval hosts, but this is not true in Acraea terpsicore which 
lays eggs in clusters of 4-6 on the herbaceous Hybanthus 
erwaespermus. While single egg laying habit is 
advantageous to exploit isolated plants, preventing the 
possibility of larval starvation, egg clustering improves larval 
host resource exploitation (Davies and Gilbert 1 985). 

The hatching or incubation period is 3-4 days in 9 of 
the 14 species, 4-5 in 3 species, and 6-7 days in 2 species. 
In temperate species, the hatching period is reported to 
differ between cluster and single egg layers, the former 
being longer (Stamp 1980). Such a difference is not 
apparent in these 14 tropical species. In fact, Pachliopta 
hector and P. aristolochiae that lay single eggs have a 
longer incubation period of 6-7 days than the cluster laying 
Acraea terpsicore (3-4 days) and Anaphaeis aurota 
(4-5 days). It thus appears that the incubation period may 
depend on the size of the egg rather than on the egg laying 
pattern, the bigger eggs taking a relatively longer period. 
This requires to be tested under similar conditions of 
incubation. 

Larval and pupal duration, and total development 

time 

The durations of the different instars of the 14 
butterfly species appear to be similar. The duration of 



instar I varied between 2-3 days, of instar II and III 
each 2-4 days, of instar IV 2-5 days, and instar V 3-7 
days. Only the fifth instar of two papilionids Pachliopta 
hector and P. aristolochiae have a relatively longer 
duration of 6-7 days. The total larval period ranged 
between 1 1-20 days. The pupal period of six species, 
namely Acraea terpsicore , Danaus chrysippus, 
Junonia lemonias, Anaphaeis aurota , Catopsilia 
pyranthe and Eurema hecabe was short ranging from 
6-8 days, and the remaining eight species had a longer 
period of 9-16 days. The period of egg to adult 
development time also had two groups, one showing a 
shorter period of 20-30 days and the other a longer period 
of 25-48 days (Table 2). The longest period was for 
Pachliopta aristolochiae (40-48 days), and for 
P. hector (39-47 days), and the shortest period of 
20-27 days was observed in Junonia lemonias and 
Eurema hecabe. In Papua New Guinea, the world’s 
largest butterfly Ornithoptera alexandrae 
(Papilionidae) has an egg to adult development time 
spanning over 122 days (Parsons 1984c), the lycaenids 
Philiris helena, P agatha, P. intensa and P. zisk have 
30 days each (Parsons 1 984a). The nymphalid Taeniaris 
myops has 54 days, and T. arotaus 60 days (Parsons 
1984b). Relevant data from other regions in India are 
required for a meaningful comparison and interpretation. 
However, temperature influences instar duration 



98 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Table 2: Duration in days of different stages in the life history of the 14 butterfly species under study 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



99 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



Table 3: Instarwise food consumption and growth of 14 butterfly species 



Butterfly species 


Instar number 


wt. of food consumed (mg) 


wt. of faeces (mg) 


wt. gain of larva (mg) 


Acraea terpsicore 


1 


17.0 ± 0.21 


0.5 ± 0.01 


1.2 ± 0.08 




II 


138.0 ± 0.42 


3.9 ± 0.12 


15.5 ± 0.21 




III 


563.0 ± 4.70 


18.2 ±0.25 


68.0 ± 0.28 




IV 


1063.5 ± 9.20 


132.8 ± 0.91 


152.5 ± 0.94 




V 


2840.0 ± 16.70 


408.0 ± 2 90 


402.0 ± 3.10 


Danaus chrysippus 


1 


18.0 ± 0.08 


0.1 ± 0.4 


0.6 ± 0.02 




II 


54.0 ± 1.40 


3.7 ± 0.32 


7.0 ±0.7 




III 


382.5 ± 3.40 


15.6 ± 0.97 


53.0 ± 1.20 




IV 


1210.0 ± 6.14 


98.0 ± 1.90 


208.0 ± 3.10 




V 


2972.0 ± 14.2 


458.0 ± 4.20 


417.0 ± 3.90 


Euploea core 


1 


34.0 ±0.21 


0.65 ± 0.04 


3.40 ±0.21 




II 


208.0 ± 1.40 


4.8 ±0.37 


23.2 ±0.41 




III 


585.5 ± 2.10 


49.2 ± 0.61 


121.0 ± 0.74 




IV 


1377.5 ± 6.70 


231.4 ± 1.91 


471.3 ±2.1 




V 


4125.5 ± 13.20 


612.5 ±4.3 


665.3 ±4.8 


Junonia lemonias 


1 


35.1 ± 0.41 


0.31 ± 0.21 


3.15 ± 0.18 




II 


254.3 ± 0.74 


3.80 ± 0.21 


27.00 ± 0.30 




III 


723.7 ± 6.30 


4480 ± 0.41 


351.0 ± 0.94 




IV 


1759.0 ± 12 40 


181.50 ± 0.72 


600.40 ± 5.70 




V 


4656.2 ± 20 20 


594.40 ±5.10 


701.00 ± 6.40 


Graphium doson 


1 


21.6 ± 0.34 


0.15 ± 0.09 


2.2 ± 0 10 




II 


88.50 ± 0.84 


3.42 ± 0.18 


18.0 ± 0.21 




III 


1397.5 ± 8.40 


110.5 ± 0.19 


222.6 ± 1.80 




IV 


2371.6 ± 11.2 


194.5 ± 1.90 


321.3 ± 2.40 




V 


3497.3 ± 16.40 


528.2 ± 5.30 


678.4 ± 3.80 


Graphium agamemnon 


1 


26.5 ± 0.92 


0.12 ± 0.04 


2.36 ±0.18 




II 


78.3 ±2.10 


3.08 ± 0.24 


13.5 ±0.67 




III 


1413.0 ± 7.20 


109.50 ±2.9 


206. 3 ± 3.70 




IV 


2390.5 ± 12.40 


186.4 ± 3.2 


267.4 ± 3.90 




V 


2733.5 ± 13.60 


486.5 ± 4.1 


518.8 ±4.50 


Pachliopta hector 


1 


47.5 ± 0.12 


0.30 ± 0.02 


2.5 ±0.06 




1! 


93.5 ±0.19 


4.21 ± 0.08 


19.7 ± 0.12 




Ill 


1426.3 ± 1.20 


122.80 ± 0.20 


71.0 ± 0.14 




IV 


2189.7 ±4.20 


189.50 ± 0.23 


453.1 ± 0.41 




V 


4320.6 ± 12.40 


540.10 ± 0.41 


1232.0 ± 1.10 


Pachliopta aristolochiae 


1 


26.2 ± 0.98 


0.32 ± 0.02 


2.2 ± 0.18 




II 


159.1 ± 1.90 


3.40 ± 0.31 


16.0 ± 0.71 




III 


394.3 ± 2.70 


18.60 ± 0.92 


68.6 ± 1.41 




IV 


1003.2 ± 5.10 


72.40 ± 1.21 


319.09 ± 2.30 




V 


4757.3 ± 21.20 


882.20 ± 4.40 


1425.8 ± 6.30 


Papilio polytes 


1 


31.0 ±0.92 


0.21 ± 0.02 


3.21 ±0.19 




II 


154.3 ± 2.70 


3.90 ± 0.27 


19.60 ±0.31 




III 


482.7 ± 3.90 


61.40 ± 1.40 


150.30 ± 2.90 




IV 


1683.0 ± 6.10 


126.20 ± 1.40 


256 80 ± 3.10 




V 


2714.2 ± 9.70 


375.80 ± 3.90 


452.90 ± 3.60 



100 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



Table 3: Instarwise food consumption and growth of 14 butterfly species (contd.) 



Butterfly species 


Instar number 


wt. of food consumed (mg) 


wt. of faeces (mg) wt. gain of larva (mg) 


Princeps demoleus 


1 


40.3 


±0.21 


0.19 


±0.02 


3.87 


±0.10 




II 


113.0 


± 0.80 


4.20 


±0.19 


22.80 


±0.19 




III 


1546.0 


± 2.90 


119.80 


± 0.82 


302.50 


± 1.70 




fV 


2474.1 


± 6.10 


322.40 


± 1.90 


478.30 


± 2.10 




V 


4524.2 ± 


14.50 


818.60 


± 4.80 


840.70 


±4 20 


Colotis danae 


1 


4.2 


±0.13 


0.10 


±0.01 


0.19 


±0.02 




II 


10.2 


±0.21 


0.34 


±0 04 


1.52 


± 0 08 




III 


29.6 


±0.34 


6.10 


± 0.18 


3.70 


±0.18 




IV 


98.1 


± 0.84 


12.60 


± 0.24 


13.70 


± 0.34 




V 


308.4 


± 3.20 


74.60 


± 0.64 


59.00 


± 0.51 


Anaphaeis aurota 


1 


4.1 


±0.12 


0.12 


±0.01 


2.47 


±0.08 




II 


43.0 


±0.21 


2.10 


± 0 08 


8.29 


± 0.17 




III 


129.8 


± 1 02 


18.20 


± 0.14 


57.25 


± 0.29 




IV 


254.5 


± 2.70 


52.50 


± 0.31 


120.70 


± 1.01 




V 


346.5 


± 3.10 


196.20 


± 1.90 


301.00 


± 2.90 


Catopsilia pyranthe 


1 


4.40 


±0.12 


0.09 


±0.01 


0.10 ±0.3 




II 


42.00 


± 0.18 


1.20 


±0.08 


1.70 


±0.09 




III 


260.00 


± 2.40 


21.50 


±0.14 


24.50 


± 0.16 




IV 


350.00 


± 3.60 


62.90 


± 0.22 


32.50 


± 0.17 




V 


1339.00± 7.40 


421.00 


± 3.90 


141.00 


± 0.38 


Eurema hecabe 


1 


6.0 


±0.08 


0.04 


±0.02 


0.06 


±0.01 




II 


48.0 


±0.02 


1.20 


±0.08 


2.87 


± 0.06 




III 


232.0 


± 0.24 


12.90 


± 0.09 


36.60 


± 0.11 




IV 


251.5 


± 0.26 


29.10 


± 0.10 


37.70 


±0.11 




V 


313.0 


± 0.32 


60.20 


± 0.17 


56.50 


± 0.18 


(Palanichamy et al. 1982) and the overall developmental 
time from egg to adult (Owen 1971). Hence, the larval 
and pupal duration, and egg to adult development time 
of these 14 butterfly species in other regions may vary 
according to the prevailing weather conditions. The 
present data, however, agrees with Owen (1971), who 


index (Cl) of instar 1 is the highest in all the 14 species, 
and Cl decreases progressively across the instars. Cl 
depends on the conversion efficiency of the food 
consumed (ECI) (Slansky and Scriber 1985), and is 
inversely proportional to ECI. Thus, the high Cl of 
instar I of all the 14 butterfly species may be because of 



states that egg to adult development time is much shorter 
in the tropics. 

Food consumption and utilization 

The data on the proportion of food consumed by 
the five instars of each of the 14 butterfly species 
indicates that the fourth or fifth instar had a major share 
of the total amount of food consumed over the entire 
larval period. Similar findings have been reported for 
other species (David and Gardiner 1962; Waldbauer 
1968; Mathavan and Pandian 1975; Scriber and Slansky 
1981; Palanichamy et al. 1982; Selvasundaram 1992; 
Ghosh and Gonchaudhuri 1996). The increase in 
consumption might be a strategy to compensate for the 
energy requirement in the non-feeding pupal stage (Delvi 
and Pandian 1972; Pandian 1973). The consumption 



low conversion efficiency (EC1) (Table 4). The values 
of consumption index (Cl) of any instar of the 1 4 species 
are within the ranges reported for Lepidoptera in general 
(Slansky and Scriber 1985) and correspond well with 
the values of swallowtails (Scriber and Feeny 1979; 
Scriber 1986). 

The value of GR of the 14 butterfly species 
decreased progressively in general and was highest in 
instar 1, and lowest in instar V (Table 5). A similar trend 
has been recorded for the moth Pericallia ricini (Ghosh 
and Gonchaudhuri 1 996). Penultimate instars had a higher 
growth rate than the final instars in some swallowtails 
and moths (Scriber and Feeny 1979). The GRs of 
penultimate and final instars now obtained are in line 
with the above decreasing trend. The larvae reared on 
tree foliage show higher growth rates than the larvae 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



101 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



Table 4: Values of Consumption Index (Cl) for successive instars of 14 butterfly species 











Cl 






Butterfly Species 


Instars 


1 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


ACRAEIDAE 


A. terpsicore 




7.47 


2.40 


3.40 


1.80 


0.90 


DANAIDAE 


D. chrysippus 




10.50 


2.50 


3.70 


1.40 


0.60 


E. core 




8.60 


2.20 


1.90 


1.70 


0.70 


NYMPHALIDAE 


J lemonias 




9.80 


6.60 


3.50 


1.90 


2.00 


PAPILIONIDAE 


G. doson 




9.30 


3.50 


3.50 


1.80 


1.30 


G. agamemnon 




10.00 


2.40 


2.80 


1.40 


1.10 


P polytes 




18.70 


5.00 


4.00 


3.40 


2.00 


P. demoleus 




14.40 


3.12 


1.62 


0.98 


0.65 


P hector 




22.00 


7.60 


2.06 


1.70 


2.07 


P. aristolochiae 




16.00 


14.60 


5.40 


1.64 


0.93 


PIERIDAE 


C. danae 




8.30 


4.80 


1.10 


0.84 


1.10 


A. aurota 




10.80 


4.79 


3.23 


1.94 


1.99 


C. pyranthe 




8.10 


1.80 


4.00 


3.50 


1.70 


E. hecabe 




8.70 


4.40 


2.10 


1.10 


1.40 



Table 5: Values of Growth Rate (GR) for successive instars of 14 butterfly species 

GR 



Butterfly Species 


Instars 


1 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


ACRAEIDAE 


A. terpsicore 




0.78 


0.53 


0.39 


0.27 


0.28 


DANAIDAE 


D. chrysippus 




0.27 


0.24 


0.56 


0.48 


0.23 


E. core 




0.87 


0.49 


0.40 


0.39 


0.22 


NYMPHALIDAE 


J. lemonias 




0.75 


0.52 


0.56 


0.28 


0.17 


PAPILIONIDAE 


G. doson 




0.57 


0.49 


0.55 


0.25 


0.18 


G. agamemnon 




0.93 


0.43 


0.55 


0.16 


0.12 


P hector 




0.45 


0.45 


0.39 


0.35 


0.20 


P aristolochiae 




0.70 


0.66 


0.62 


0.60 


0.60 


P polytes 




0.96 


0.45 


0.48 


0.27 


0.21 


P demoleus 




0.96 


0.48 


0.54 


0.27 


0.21 


PIERIDAE 


C. danae 




0.57 


0.73 


0.49 


0.54 


0.39 


A. aurota 




0.87 


0.60 


0.71 


0.46 


0.29 


C. pyranthe 




0.50 


0.30 


0.20 


0.15 


0.21 


E. hecabe 




0.80 


0.87 


0.81 


0.30 


0.17 



102 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



maintained on herbaceous foliage (Scriber and Feeny 
1979). The host plant Polyalthia longifolia utilised by 
Graphium agamemnon and G. doson, and Citrus 
limon utilised by Papilio polytes and Princeps 
demoleus are tree species, whereas Aristolochia indica 
and A. bracteolata used by Pachliopta hector and 
P. aristolochiae, and Hybanthus ennaespermus used 
by Acraea terpsicore are herbaceous. While the growth 
rates of Pachliopta aristolochiae larval instars II to V 
are greater than those of other tree foliage feeders, those 
of Pachliopta hector are not different from other tree 
foliage feeders, hence the data is considered inadequate 
to consider the issue of different growth rates on the 
two kinds of foliage. 

The values of approximate digestibility (AD) of 
the 14 butterfly species declined as the larvae aged 
(Table 6). The larvae may have consumed a larger 
proportion of indigestible crude fibre as they grew older 
which caused AD values to decrease along the 
successive instars (see Slansky and Scriber 1985). This 
decrease could also be the reason of the decreased 
growth rate (GR) described earlier. The AD values are 
inversely related to the food consumed by different 
instars. It is highest in instar I, the corresponding 
percentages of each of the 14 species are: Pachliopta 
aristolochiae 0.41, 98; P. hector 0.59, 99; Papilio 



polytes 0.61, 99; Princeps demoleus 0.46, 99; 
Graphium agamemnon 0.40, 99; G. doson 0.29, 99; 
Anaphaeis aurota 0.53, 97; Calotis danae 0.93, 98; 
Acraea terpsicore 0.37, 97; Catopsilia pyranthe 0.23, 
98; Eurema hecabe 0.72, 99; Junonia lemonias 0.47, 
99; Danaus chrysippus 0.39, 97; and Euploea core 

O. 53, 98. The AD is lowest in instar V, the corresponding 
percentages are Pachliopta aristolochiae 75.03, 84; 

P. hector 53.49, 87; Papilio polytes 41 . 1 5, 86; Princeps 
demoleus 52.02, 82; Graphium agamemnon 41 . 1 5, 82; 
G. doson 47.4 1 , 84; Anaphaeis aurota 44.5, 70; Calotis 
danae 68.5, 76; Acraea terpsicore 61.38, 86; 
Catopsilia pyranthe 67.10, 69; Eurema hecabe 36.80, 
81; Junonia lemonias 62.68, 87; Danaus chrysippus 
64.10, 84; Euploea core 65.16, 85. Such a relationship 
between approximate digestibility and food consumption 
is also evident from the data compiled by Waldbauer 
(1968). The AD values of the 14 species ranging 
between 86.0 to 99.5% appear to be higher than those 
reported for several lepidopteran larvae (see Pandian 
and Marian 1986; Ghosh and Gonchaudhuri 1996). The 
larvae were given tender leaves daily. Tender leaves 
are usually rich in nitrogen and the larvae may have 
assimilated them more efficiently resulting in high values 
of AD. The values of efficiency of conversion of 
digested food (ECD) showed a general increase from 



Table 6: Values of Approximate Digestibility (AD) for successive instars of 14 butterfly species 



AD (%) 



Butterfly Species 


Instars 


1 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


ACRAEIDAE 


A. terpsicore 




97 


97 


89 


88 


86 


DANAIDAE 


D. chrysippus 




97 


93 


96 


93 


84 


E. core 




98 


97 


91 


83 


85 


NYMPHALIDAE 


J. lemonias 




99 


98 


93 


89 


87 


PAPILIONIDAE 


G. doson 




99 


95 


92 


91 


84 


G. agamemnon 




99 


96 


92 


92 


82 


P. hector 




99 


94 


92 


91 


87 


P. aristolochiae 




98 


97 


95 


92 


81 


P polytes 




99 


97 


94 


92 


86 


P. demoleus 




99 


96 


92 


87 


82 


PIERIDAE 


C. danae 




98 


96 


89 


85 


76 


A. aurota 




97 


95 


86 


79 


70 


C. pyranthe 




98 


97 


92 


82 


69 


E. hecabe 




99 


98 


94 


86 


81 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



103 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



Table 7: Values of Efficiency of conversion of digested food (ECD) for successive instars of 14 butterfly species 



ECD (%) 



Butterfly Species 


Instars 


1 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


ACRAEIDAE 














A. terpsicore 




8.0 


12.0 


12.0 


16.0 


17.0 


DANAIDAE 














D. chrysippus 




3.4 


13.9 


14.4 


14.7 


16.5 


E core 




10.2 


11.4 


23.4 


41.3 


18.9 


NYMPHALIDAE 














J. lemonias 




9.0 


11.0 


6.0 


38.0 


17.0 


PAPILIONIDAE 














G. doson 




7.7 


20.3 


17.2 


14.7 


22.8 


G. agamemnon 




2 3 


17.9 


15.8 


12.1 


22.9 


P hector 




18.8 


21.9 


5.4 


22.6 


32.5 


P. aristolochiae 




8.4 


10.2 


18.2 


34.0 


36.0 


P. polytes 




10.4 


13.0 


14.7 


16.5 


19.3 


P. demoleus 




9.6 


20.9 


21.2 


22.1 


22.6 


PIERIDAE 














C. danae 




3.0 


15.0 


15.0 


18.0 


25.0 


A. aurota 




62.0 


20.0 


52.0 


60.0 


64.0 


C. pyranthe 




2.0 


4.0 


10.0 


11.0 


15.0 


E. hecabe 




1.0 


6.0 


16.0 


19.0 


19.0 


Table 8: Values of Efficiency of conversion of ingested food (ECI) for successive instars of 14 butterfly species 










ECI (%) 






Butterfly Species 


Instars 


1 


II 


III 


IV 


V 


ACRAEIDAE 














A. terpsicore 




7.0 


11.0 


12.0 


14.0 


14.0 


DANAIDAE 














D. chrysippus 




3.3 


12.9 


13.8 


13.8 


14.0 


E. core 




10.0 


11.5 


21.5 


34.2 


16.0 


NYMPHALIDAE 














J. lemonias 




9.0 


11.0 


6.0 


34.0 


15.0 


PAPILIONIDAE 














G. doson 




7.7 


19.3 


15.9 


13.5 


19.3 


G. agamemnon 




8.9 


17.2 


14.6 


11.2 


18.8 


P. hector 




5 2 


20.9 


14.9 


20.6 


28.5 


P. aristolochiae 




8.3 


10.0 


17.0 


31.0 


29.9 


P polytes 




10.3 


12.7 


13.8 


15.2 


16.6 


P demoleus 




9.6 


20.1 


19.5 


19.2 


18.5 


PIERIDAE 














C. danae 




3.0 


14.0 


15.0 


15.0 


19.0 


A. aurota 




60.0 


19.0 


44.0 


47.0 


45.0 


C. pyranthe 




2.0 


4.0 


9.0 


9.0 


11.0 


E. hecabe 




3.0 


6.0 


17.0 


12.0 


23.0 



104 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF BUTTERFLY SPECIES 



early to late instars, and the values are very low 
compared to AD values, indicating poor utilisation of 
the digested food (Table 7). 

The values of efficiency of conversion of consumed 
food (ECI) of Anaphaeis aurota ranged between 19- 
60% and those of the other 13 species varied between 
2-34%; most of these values fall between 1 0% and 20%. 
These values indicate low conversion efficiency, but are 
comparable with the ECI values reported for swallowtails 
(Scriber and Slansky 1981). Excised foliage was used 
for rearing the larvae, and such foliage is likely to be 
deficient in water. Since leaf water content is directly 
related to conversion efficiency (Muthukrishnan 1990) 

REFER 

Boggs, C.L. (1981): Nutritional and life history determinations of 
resource allocation in holometabolous insects. Amer. Nat. 117 : 
692-701. 

Chew, F.S. & R. Robbins (1984): Egg laying in butterflies, pp. 65-80. 
ln\ The Biology of Butterflies (Eds.: Vane-Wright, R.I. and 
RR. Ackery), Academic Press, London. 

David, W.A.L. & B.O.C. Gardiner (1962): Oviposition and hatching 
of the eggs of Pier is brassicae in a laboratory culture. Bull. Ent. 
Res 53: 91-109. 

Davies, C.R. & N. Gilbert ( 1 985): A comparative study of the egg- 
laying behaviour and larval development of Pieris rapae L. and 
P. brassicae L. on the same host plants. Oecologia 67: 278-281 . 
Delvi, MR. & T.J. Pandian ( 1 972): Rates of feeding and assimilation 
in the grasshopper Poecilocerus pictus. J. Insect Physiol. 18: 
1829-1843. 

Ford, E.B. (1957): Butterflies. Collins. London. 368 pp. 

Gay, T., I.D. Kehimkar & J.C. Punetha ( 1 992): Common Butterflies 
of India. Oxford University Press, Bombay. 67 pp. 

Ghosh, D. & S. Gonchaudhuri ( 1 996): Biology and food utilisation 
efficiency of Pericallia ricini (Fab.) (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) in 
Tripura. Uttar Pradesh. J. Zool. 16(3): 119-122. 

Larsen, T.B. ( 1 988): Differing oviposition and larval feeding strategies 
in two Colotis butterflies sharing the same food plant. 

J. Lepid. Soc. 42: 57-58. 

Mathavan, S. & T.J. Pandian ( 1975): Effect of temperature on food 
utilisation in the monarch butterfly Danaus chrysippus. Oikos 
26: 60-64. 

Muthukrishnan, J. (1990): Bioenergetics in insect plant interactions. 

Proc Indian Acad. Sci. ( Anim . Sci.) 99(3): 243-255. 

New, T.R., R.M. Pyle, J.A. Thomas, C.D. Thomas & PC. Hammond 
(1995): Butterfly conservation management. Ann. Rev. Entomol 
40: 57-83. 

Owen, D.F. (1971): Tropical Butterflies. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 
205 pp. 

Palanichamy, S.R. Ponnuchamy & T. Thangaraj (1982): Effect of 
temperature on food intake, growth and conversion efficiency 
of Eupterote mollifera (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Proc. Indian. 
Acad. Sci. (Anim. Sci.) 91: 417-422. 

Pandian, T.J. (1973): Food intake and energy expenditure patterns 
in two insect primary consumers. Curr. Sci. 42: 423-425. 
Pandian, T.J. & M.P. Marian (1986): Prediction of assimilation 
efficiency of lepidopterans. Proc. Indian Acad Sci (Anim. Sci.) 



the larvae had to spend energy to produce metabolic 
water, which may have resulted in low conversion 
efficiency. While it is indicated that the ECI values across 
the instars show a decreasing trend, and follow the 
pattern of decline in AD (Waldbauer 1968), the ECI 
pattern of the 1 4 species does not conform to the above 
relation (Table 8). The ECIs showed definite trend of 
increase or decrease across the instars, thus supporting 
the predicted inconsistency in ECI pattern (Slansky and 
Scriber 1985) also recorded in the moth Pericallia ricini 
(Ghosh and Gonchaudhuri 1 996). The various nutritional 
indices of the 14 butterfly species will enable a proper 
understanding of the trophic interactions of these species. 

NC E S 

95: 641-665. 

Parsons, M.J. (1984a): Life histories of four species of Philiris 
Rober (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from Papua New Guinea. 
J. Lepid. Soc. 39: 15-22. 

Parsons, M.J. (1984b): Life histories of Taenaris (Nymphalidae) 
from Papua New Guinea. J Lepid. Soc. 39: 69-84. 

Parsons, M.J. (1984c): The biology and conservation of Ornithoplera 
alexandrae. Pp. 327-33 1 . In: The Biology of Butterflies (Eds: 
Vane-Wright, R.I. & P.R. Ackery), Academic Press, London. 
Scriber J.M. (1986): Origins of the regional feeding abilities in the 
tiger swallowtail butterfly ecological monophagy and the Papilio 
glaucus australis subspecies in Florida. Oecologia 71: 94-103. 
Scriber, J. M. & P. Feeny (1979): Growth of herbivorous caterpillars 
in relation to feeding specialization and to the growth form of 
their food plants. Ecology 60: 829-850. 

Scriber, J.M. & F.J. Slansky (1981): The nutritional ecology of 
immature insects. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 26: 183-211. 
Selvasundaram, R. (1992): Food utilisation and bioenergetics of 
Caloptilia theivora ( Walsingham) (Lepidoptera: Gracillaridae) 
infesting tea. Hexapoda 4(2): 1 19-128. 

Slansky, F. & J.M. Scriber (1985): Food consumption and utilization. 
Pp. 85-163. In: Comprehensive Insect Physiology, 
Biochemistry and Pharmacology (Eds: Kerkut, G.A. & L.I. 
Gilbert), Pergamon, Oxford. 

Stamp, N.E. (1980): Egg deposition patterns in butterflies. Why do 
some species cluster their eggs rather than deposit them singly? 
Amer. Nat. 115: 367-380. 

Thompson, J.N. & J.N. Pellmyr (1991): Evolution of oviposition 
behaviour and host preference in Lepidoptera. Ann Rev. 
Entomol. 36: 65-89. 

Varshney, R.K. ( 1980): Revised nomenclature fortaxa in Wynter- 
Blyth’s book on the butterflies of Indian region. J. Bombay nat. 
Hist. Soc. 76: 33-40. 

Varshney, R.K. (1985): Revised nomenclature for taxa in Wynter- 
Blyth’s book on the butterflies of Indian region-II. J. Bombay 
nat. Hist. Soc. 82: 309-321. 

Waldbauer, G.P. (1968): The consumption and utilization of food 
by insects. Pp. 229-288. In: Advances in Insect Physiology 
(Eds: Beament, J.W.L., J.E. Treherne & V.B. Wigglesworth), 
Academic Press, London and New York. 

Wynter-Blyth, M.A. (1957): Butterflies of the Indian Region. 
Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. 523 pp. 



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Journal! of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



106-120 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS 
OF SANJAY GANDHI NATIONAL PARK, BORIVLI, MUMBAI 
(LEPIDOPTERA: SATURNIIDAE AND SPHINGIDAE) 1 

V. Shubhalaxmi and Naresh Chaturvedi 2 

'Accepted January 2003 

2 Bombay Natural History Society, Hombill House, 

S.B, Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. 

Email: bnhs@bom4.vsnl.net. in 

Ecological studies were conducted on the moths of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, with special reference to 
the Families Satumiidae and Sphingidae. Three species of Emperor moths and 32 species of Hawkmoths 
were recorded, of these the life histories of 26 species were studied (3 Saturnids, 23 Sphingids). For Family 
Saturniidae, 10 new larval food plants have been added to the 80 known species for 2 Emperor moths. For 
Family Sphingidae, 33 new larval food plants have been added to the 1 1 1 known species for 20 Hawkmoths. 



A brief overview of the larval food plants in terms 
covered in this paper. 

Keywords: Satumiidae, Sphingidae, Emperor moths, 
specialists, generalists, indicator species 

INTRODUCTION 

Ecological studies on the moths of Sanjay Gandhi 
National Park (SGNP), Mumbai, with special reference 
to Families Satumiidae and Sphingidae, were conducted 
from 1993 to 2001. Three species of Emperor moths 
and 32 species of Hawkmoths were recorded. SGNP 
is a unique national park, in that it is surrounded by a 
metropolis like Mumbai. It is constantly under heavy 
biotic pressure from humans. This National Park lies in 
the Western Ghats, a crucial area with rich biodiversity. 
Though most of the flora and fauna have been well 
documented, very 1 ittle was known about the insect fauna 
of the Park. An ecological study of the moths was 
initiated, for which the Families Satumiidae (Emperor 
moths) and Sphingidae (Hawkmoths) were selected. 
Ecological data on the moths of Maharashtra region is 
scanty, and there are many lacunae in the information 
on their life histories, including larval food plants, which 
vary for different habitats. Thus, a food plant recorded 
for a particular moth species in southern India may differ 
from that found in western India (e.g. Carissa 
carandas). Detailed life histories of 3 Saturnids and 
23 Sphingids were successfully recorded. 

Emperor Moths: Family Saturniidae 

Saturnids are known as Emperor moths or non- 
mulberry silkmoths (Arora and Gupta 1979). The largest 
moth in Asia is a Saturnid, the Atlas moth, with a 
wingspan of 29 cm. Besides their size and exuberant 
beauty, they are also known for their non-feeding adults 
and gregarious caterpillars. Others, like Tasar, Muga 



of preferences, abundance and resource sharing are 

Hawkmoths, Saturnids, Sphingids, larval food plants, 

and Eri moths are known for silk production and are 
commercially exploited by the silk industry. 

Hawkmoths: Family Sphingidae 

Sphingids are also known as Sphinx moths for the 
sphinx-like posture adopted by the caterpillars when 
threatened. They are best known for their long migratory 
flight; some have even been encountered at mid-sea 
(Kehimkar 1997). The stout, cigar-shaped body and 
long, narrow forewings of the adult are distinctive. The 
long proboscis makes Hawkmoths ideal pollinators 
for flowers which have a long tubular corolla (Barlow 
1982). 

STUDY AREA 

The c. 103 sq. km area of SGNP is spread 
over the Greater Bombay (44.50 sq. km) and Thane 
(58.64 sq. km) districts of Maharashtra State. It is 
situated c. 40 km north of Mumbai city and c. 8 km 
from the Arabian Sea. The Park has four types of 
habitats ranging from mangroves to evergreen forests 
of the Western Ghats. Most of the trees are deciduous, 
and some evergreen. The forest has diverse flora ranging 
from tall trees to shrubs and herbs. 

Apart from SGNP, the study was also carried out 
on the adjoining 1 .5 sq. km land of the Bombay Natural 
History Society (BNHS) adjacent to the Goregaon end 
of the Park. The vegetation on the BNHS land is 
southern moist-mixed deciduous and the topography is 
mainly hilly, intersected with rocky streambeds of 
seasonal rain-fed streams (Patil 1993). 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



METHODOLOGY 

To study the larval food plants, moth caterpillars 
found in the wild were reared on identified food plants. 
In the case of generalist (polyphagous) species, the 
preference levels were also observed. The scattered 
data on known larval food plants was compiled. 
Vegetation analysis of the larval food plants in the study 
area was conducted during two periods, monsoon (July) 
and non-monsoon (March). The main objectives were: 
(i) To assess the abundance of larval food plants in the 
study area in terms of availability for caterpillars, (ii) To 
grade the food plants as ‘very common’, ‘common’ and 
‘not common’ according to their relative abundance. 

HOST-PLANT RELATIONSHIPS 

According to Scott (1933), the distribution of moths 
and the number of individuals of any species in any 
locality, is intimately connected with their choice of food 
plants, thus the disappearance of a plant may lead to 
the disappearance of a species feeding on it. Hence, 
the food plants could be considered as indicator species. 
According to Speight and Wain House (1989), plants 
that are abundant and widely distributed host more insect 
species than plants with restricted distribution. Hence, 
insect diversity can be broadly predicted from the 
abundance of a particular plant species. This association 
indicates that insects and plants have co-evolved in 
nature. Moreover, host plant selection is governed 
primarily by chemoreception, therefore, the emergence 
of specific insect/host plant relationships is most likely 
to have resulted from evolutionary changes in the 
insects’ chemosensory systems. According to Jenny 
(1984), adaptation to the nutritional quality of the new 
host plant is a secondary process. 

Some moth species are specialist (monophagous), 
i.e. they lay eggs on a single plant species only, while others 
are generalist (polyphagous), i.e. they lay eggs on more 
than one plant species. Saturnid species tend to be 
generalists. In the Oriental region, they have been recorded 
to feed on the following 52 plant families: Anacardiaceae, 
Annonaceae, Apocynaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Araliaceae, 
Asclepiadaceae, Barringtoniaceae, Berberidaceae, 
Betulaceae, Bischofiaceae, Burseraceae, Caricaceae, 
Combretaceae, Coriariaceae, Corylaceae, Cyperaceae, 
Daphniphyllaceae, Dilleniaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, 
Ericaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae, 
Labiatae, Lauraceae, Leeaceae, Leguminosae, Lythraceae, 
Magnoliaceae, Malvaceae, Meliaceae, Moringaceae, 
Myrsinaceae, Myrtaceae, Naucleaceae, Oleaceae, 
Oxalidaceae, Palmae, Rhamnaceae, Rosaceae, 
Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Salicaceae, Sapindaceae, 



Simaroubaceae, Staphyleaceae, Symplocaceae, Theaceae, 
Umbelliferae, Verbenaceae, Vitidaceae and 
Xanthophyllaceae. 

Sphingids are also generalists to some extent. Earlier 
workers, such as Scott (1933) recorded food plants for 
1 24 species of Sphingids, which cover a wide range of 
58 families of plants extending from Dilleniaceae to 
Gramineae. Family Rubiaceae is the most preferred, 
with about 30 species feeding on it, followed by Vitaceae 
and Araceae with 16 species. Further, Beeson (1941) 
added that altogether 60 families ranging from large trees 
to herbs and even grasses are larval food plants of 
Sphingids. 

The study recorded 15 larval food plants for 
3 Saturnids and 44 for 23 Sphingids. Since 4 larval food 
plant species were common to both, the total number 
recorded was 55 plant species belonging to 24 families. 
Of these, 37 larval food plants from 17 families were 
new records for 22 moth species (2 Saturnids and 20 
Sphingids). 

PROFILE OF LARVAL FOOD PLANTS 



The diversity of larval food plants in terms of the 
type (tree, shrub or herb), habit (deciduous or evergreen) 
and seasonality (perennial or seasonal) is discussed here. 
It was observed that trees were the most dominant type, 
followed by shrubs and climbers, while herbs were poorly 
represented (Fig. 1 ). 78% of the larval food plants were 
perennial and 22% were seasonal. Among the perennial 
larval food plants, 46% were deciduous and 32% were 
evergreen. 

For Saturnids, 15 tree species were identified as 
larval food plants, of which 73% were deciduous and 
27% were evergreen. For Sphingids, 44 plant species 
were identified, of which 41% were trees, 30% shrubs, 
20% climbers and 9% herbs. Among the trees, 39% 




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108 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



Vitaceae Acanthaceae 

Tiliaceae 5% 40/ Anacardiaceae 

c, , 2% 1 _ r 2% 

Slerculiaceae Apocynaceae 

4% — 



Araceae 

4% 

Balsaminaceae 
2 % 




Nyctaginaceae 
2% 

Lythraceae 
4 ° /o Leeaceae 
4% 



Convolvulaceae 
9% 

Dioscoreaceae 
Fabaceae Euphorbiaceae 2% 

7% 2% 



Fig. 2: Families of larval food plants 



species supporting 8 species of Sphingids and 1 Saturnid 
(see Fig. 2). 



RESOURCE SHARING 

Resource sharing, i.e. utilization of larval food plants 
by the moth species is described here. From Table 1 it can 
be concluded that of the 24 plant families foraged by 
Saturniidae and Sphingidae (subfamilies Sphinginae and 
Macroglossinae), 10 families were foraged by Saturniidae 
(3 species) while 16 plant families were foraged by 
subfamily Sphinginae (9 species) and 23 by 
Macroglossinae ( 1 4 species). Both Satumids and Sphingids 
shared four plant families, Apocynaceae, Bombacaceae, 
Boraginaceae and Rubiaceae. The data showed that 
Sphingids utilized 81% of the resources, while Satumids 
used only 19%. Among the subfamilies of Sphingids, 
Macroglossinae accounted for 48%, and Sphinginae 33%. 



were deciduous, 34% evergreen and 27% annuals 
including climbers and herbs. The list of all recorded 
larval food plants along with their families and moth 
species is given in Table 1 . 

It can be summarised from Table 1 that of the 
listed 24 plant families of larval food plants: 

• 11 families had only one host plant species 

• 7 families had 2 species 

• 3 families had 4 species 

• 3 families had 3, 5 and 10 species respectively. 

Family Rubiaceae was the largest, with 10 plant 



LARVAL FOOD PLANT PREFERENCES 

Most of the Saturnid and Sphingid caterpillars were 
generalist feeders, but a few species behaved like 
specialist feeders, in that they fed only on one host plant, 
despite the availability of their known food plants in the 
area. Such species are termed as ‘acting specialist' here, 
and there were two categories among them: 

1 . Moth species that preferred to lay eggs on a 
single larval food plant, ignoring the other known food 
plants found in the study area. 



Table 2: List of Generalist and Specialist Species 



Generalist Species 


Specialist Species 


Acting Specialist Species 


Family Saturniidae 
1. Attacus atlas 


1 . Actias selene 


None 


2. Antheraea paphia 

Family Sphingidae 
Subfamily Sphinginae 
1. Agrius convolvuli 


None 


1. 


Marumba indicus 


2 Acherontia lachesis 

3. Psilogramma menephron 

4. Claris pha laris 

5. Polyptychus dentatus 

6. Ma rumba dyras 

Subfamily Macroglossinae 
1. Cephanodes hylas 


1 Macroglossum gyrans 


1 


Nephele hespera 


2 Daphnis nerii 


2. Macroglossum particolor 


2. 


Neogurelca hyas 


3. Macroglossum belis 


3. Macroglossum sitiene 


3 


Hippotion boerhaviae 


4. Theretra alecto 




4 


Theretra nessus 


5. Theretra clotho 

6. Theretra lycetus 

7. Theretra oldenlandiae 

8. Theretra castanea 

9. Pergesa acteus 









J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



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LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



2. Moth species whose preferred larval food plant 
is not documented from the study area, and is observed 
feeding on a single allied species. Nephele hespera is 
the single example in this category. 

Among Saturnids, 2 species were generalist and 
one was an acting specialist, while in Sphingids, 
15 species were generalist, 3 were specialists and 5 
were acting specialist (Table 2). 

Details of individual moth species, along with their 
larval food plants, have been discussed here. In case of 
a generalist moth species, the food preferences levels 
were given as ‘Most preferred’, ‘Preferred’ and ‘Less 
preferred’. The plant preference was assessed from 
the number of caterpillars observed feeding on it. A 
compiled list of known food plants, recorded plants 
and new larval food plants along with their moth species 
is given in Table 3. Some exotic plant species present 
on the fringes of the study area were seen to be hosts 
for a few moth species. Additionally, 2 larval food 
plants, Arisaema murrayi and Pavetta crassicaulis 
mentioned in Table 3 were found outside the study 
area ( 1 50-350 km away) on the hills of Mahableshwar 
and Malshej Ghat. Such plants are marked with an 
asterisk. 

Under each moth species, the following details of 
the larval food plant has been given: 

KFP = Number of Known food plants, 

RFP = Number of Recorded food plants, 

NR = New records. 

Further, under each plant family, details have been 
given in following format: 

■ Type of plant, status of plant in the study area, 

■ Number of caterpillars reared on the plant and 

■ Preference level of caterpillars (only for generalist 
species ) 

■ Whether the larval food plant recorded during the 
study was a new record. 

FAMILY SATURN II DAE 

As recoded by Hampson ( 1 896), Fellowes-Manson 
(1920), Beeson (1941), Arora and Gupta (1979), 
Barlow and D’Abrera (1982), and Chaturvedi (1999), 
there are 80 known larval food plants for 3 Saturnids, 
which have been now updated to 90. Details of 
the larval food plants is mentioned under each 
species: 

1. Indian Moon Moth 
Actias selene Hubner 1816 
KFP: 27, RFP: 01, NR: 0 
Anacardiaceae 

1. Lannea coromandelica (Floutt.) Merr.: 
Deciduous tree. Not Common, 05. 



2. Tasar Silk Moth 
Antheraea papftia Hubner 1818 

KFP: 38, RFP: 10, NR: 05 
Apocynaceae 

1. Carissa congesta Wt.: Evergreen shrub. 
Common, 02, Less preferred, New record. 

Bombacaceae 

2. Bombax ceiba Linn: Deciduous tree, Common, 
01, Less Preferred. 

Burseraceae 

3. Garuga pinnata Roxb.: Deciduous tree, 
Common, 03, Less Preferred. 

Conibretaceae 

4. Anogeissus latifolia (DC) Wall, ex Bedd.: 
Deciduous tree, Not common, 01, Less preferred, New 
record. 

5. Terminalia catappa Linn.: Deciduous tree, 
planted inside the study area, 15, Most Preferred. 

6. Terminalia bell erica Roxb.: Deciduous tree, 
Not Common, 05, Preferred. 

7. Terminalia crenulata Roth.: Deciduous tree. 
Not common, 03, Preferred, New record. 
Euphorbiaceae 

8. Bridelia retusa (Linn.) Spreng: Deciduous tree. 
Not common, 02, Less Preferred, New Record. 

Rhamnaceae 

9. Zizyphus mauritiana Lamk.: Evergreen tree. 
Not common, 12, Most Preferred. 

10. Zizyphus rugosa Lamk.: Evergreen tree, Not 
common, 01, Less Preferred, New Record. 

3. Atlas Moth Attacus atlas Linnaeus 1766 

KFP: 19, RFP: 04, NR: 04. 

Apocynaceae 

1 . Holarrhena antidysenterica : Deciduous tree, 
Not common, 03, Preferred, New Record. 

Lythraceae 

*2. Lagerstroemia speciosa Retz.: Deciduous 
tree. Not found inside the study area, 1 2, Most Preferred, 
New Record. 

3. Lagerstroemia lanceolata Wall: Deciduous 
tree, Not common, 2, Less Preferred, New Record. 

Rubiaceae 

4. Mitragyna parvifolia (Roxb.) Korth: Evergreen 
tree. Common, 05, Less Preferred, New Record. 

FAMILY SPHINGIDAE 

As per Hampson (1896), Scott (1933, 1983), 
Beeson (1941), Barlow and D’Abrera (1982) and 
Smetacek (1994) there were 111 known food plants, 
which have now increased to 144. Details of the 
larval food plants have been mentioned under each 
species. 



110 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



1. Convolvulus Hawkmoth 
Agrius convolvuli Linnaeus 1758 

KFP: 06, RFP: 05, NR: 05. 

Convolvulaceae 

1. Ipomoea sinensis (Des.) Choicy: Annual 
climber, Not common, 01, Less preferred, New 
Record. 

*2. Ipomoea cairica Linn.: Perennial climber, Not 
found inside the study area, 05, Most Preferred, New 
Record. 

*3. Ipomoea carnea Jacq.: Evergreen shrub, 
Common outside the study area, 02, Preferred, New 
Record. 

*4. Ipomoea aqnatica Forsk.: Evergreen runner, 
Common outside the study area, 02, Less Preferred, 
New Record. 

5. Ipomoea hederacea (Jacq.): Annual climber, 
common, 01, Less preferred, New Record. 

2. Dark Death’s Head Hawkmoth 
Acherontia lacbesis Fabricius 1798 

KFP: 25, RFP: 07, NR: 06. 

Acanthaceae 

1 . Barleria prionitis Linn.: Annual herb, Common, 

02, Preferred, New Record. 

2. Carvia callosa : Annual shrub. Common, 01, 
Less preferred. New Record. 

Boraginaceae 

3. Cordia dichotoma Forst. f : Deciduous tree. 
Not common, 01, Less preferred, New Record. 

Convolvulaceae 

*4. Ipomoea carnea Jacq.: Evergreen shrub, 
Common outside the study area, 01, Less Preferred, 
New Record. 

*5. Ipomoea aquatica Forsk.: Evergreen runner, 
Common outside the study area, 01, Less Preferred, 
New Record. 

Oleaceae 

*6. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn.: Deciduous 
shrub, Common outside the study area, 0 1 , Less Preferred. 

Solanaceae 

7. Solanum violaceum Ortega: Deciduous shrub. 
Not common, 01, Less Preferred, New Record. 

3. Dark Psilogramma 
Psilogramma ntenep/iron Cramer 1780 

KFP: 14, RFP: 02, NR: 01. 

Bignoniaceae 

1. Oroxylum indicum (Linn.) Vent.: Deciduous 
tree, Not common, 01, Less preferred. New Record. 

2. *Spathodea campanulata Beauv.: Evergreen 
tree. Common outside the study area, 01, Less 
preferred. 



4. Shorthorn Sphinx Clonis phalaris Cramer 1777 

KFP: 08, RFP: 04, NR: 03. 

Fabaceae 

1. Pueraria tuberosa (Roxb.) DC.: Deciduous 
climber, Not common, 10, Most Preferred, New 
Record. 

2. Dcilbergia lanceolarici Linn.f.: Deciduous tree. 
Not common, 02, Preferred, New Record. 

3. Dalbergia Jatifolia Roxb.: Deciduous tree, Not 
common, 02, Preferred, New Record. 

4. Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb.: Deciduous 
tree, Not common, 01, Less Preferred. 

5. Dentate Grey Sphinx 

Poly pty chits dent at us Cramer 1777 
KFP: 02, RFP: 02, NR: 01. 

Bombacaceae 

1 . Bombax ceiba Linn.: Deciduous tree, Common, 
01, Less Preferred, New Record. 

Boraginaceae 

1. Cordia dichotoma Forst. F: Deciduous tree, 
Not common, 08, Most preferred. 

6. Spotted Marumba Marumba dyras Walker 1856 

KFP: 10, RFP: 5, NR: 03. 

Bombacaceae 

1 . Bombax ceiba Linn.: Deciduous tree. Common, 
10, Most Preferred. 

Euphorbiaceae 

2. Br ide I ia retusa (L'mn.) Spreng.: Deciduous tree. 
Not common, 02, Less Preferred, New Record. 

Sterculiaceae 

3. Firmiana color ata (Roxb.) R.Br.: Deciduous 
tree. Not common, 50, Most Preferred, New Record. 

4. Helicteres isora Linn.: Deciduous shrub. Very 
common, 10, Most Preferred. 

Tiliaceae 

5. Grewia inequalis Bl.: Deciduous tree, Common, 
04, Less Preferred, New Record. 

7. Brown Tip Marumba 
Marumba indicus Walker 1856 

KFP: 05, RFP: 01, NR: 01. 

Sterculiaceae 

1. Firmiana colorata (Roxb.) R. Br.: Deciduous 
tree. Not common, 25 (caterpillars reared at a time from 
an egg clutch), New Record. 

8. Coffee Bee Hawkmoth 
Cephanodes hylas hylas Linnaeus 1771 

KFP: 13, RFP: 08, NR: 05. 

Rubiaceae 

1. Catunaregam spinarum (L.) Tiruveng: 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



111 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



Evergreen shrub, Not common, 02, Less Preferred. 

2. Gardenia lucida Roxb.: Evergreen tree , Not 
common, 03, Most Preferred, New Record. 

3. * Gardenia florida Linn.: Evergreen shrub, 
Common outside the study area, 05, Most Preferred. 

4. Haldina cordifo!ia( Roxb.) Ridsdale: Evergreen 
tree. Not common, 02, Less Preferred. 

5. Hymenodictyon orixense (Roxb.) Mabb.: 
Evergreen tree. Not common, 03, Most Preferred, New 
Record. 

6. Mitragyna parvifolia (Roxb.) Korth.: Evergreen 
tree. Common, 03, Most Preferred, New Record. 

7. *Pavetta crassicaulis Bremek.: Deciduous 
tree, Not common, 01, Less Preferred, New Record. 

8. Pavetta siphonantha Dalz.: Deciduous tree, 
Not common, 01, Less Preferred. 

9. Oleander Hawkmoth 
Dapltnis nerii Linnaeus 1758 

KFP: 05, RFP: 02, NR: 01. 

Apocynaceae 

* 1 . Alstonia scholaris R.Br.: Evergreen tree, Not 
found in the study area, 0 1 , Less preferred, New Record. 

2. Tabernaemontana coronaria Wild.: Perennial 
shrub, Not found inside the study area, 06, Most Preferred. 

10. Carissa Hawkmoth 
Nephele hespera Fabricius 1775 

KFP: 01, RFP: 01, NR: 01. 

Apocynaceae 

1. Carissa congesta Wt.: Evergreen shrub, 
Common, 16, New Record. 

11. Turntail Hawkmoth 
Neogurelca hyas Walker 1856 

KFP: 03, RFP: 01, NR: 0. 

Rubiaceae 

1. Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa Roxb.: 
Evergreen tree. Common, 05. 

12. Little Hummingbird Moth 
Macroglossum gyrans Walker 1856 

KFP: 01, RFP: 01, NR: 0. 

Rubiaceae 

1. Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa Roxb.: 
Evergreen tree. Common, 3 1 . 

13. Hourglass Hummingbird Moth 
Macroglossum particolor Rothschild & Jordan 1903 

KFP: 01, RFP: 01, NR: 0. 

Rubiaceae 

1. Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa Roxb.: 
Evergreen tree, Common, 02. 



14. Large Hummingbird Moth 
Macroglossum belis Linnaeus 1758 

KFP: 04, RFP: 02, NR: 02. 

Rubiaceae 

1 . Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa Roxb.: 
Evergreen tree, Common, 04, Most preferred, New 
Record. 

2. Spermadictyon suaveolens Roxb.: Evergreen 
tree, Not found in the study area, 03, Less preferred, 
New Record. 

15. Yellow Banded Hummingbird Moth 
Macroglossum sitiene Walker 1856 

KFP: 01, RFP: 01, NR: 01. 

Rubiaceae 

1. Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa Roxb.: 
Evergreen tree. Common, 02. 

16. Hogweed Hawkmoth 
Hippotion boerltaviae Fabricius 1775 

KFP: 06, REP: 01, NR: 0. 

Nyctaginaceae 

1. Boerhavia diffusa Linn.: Annual herb, Not 
common, 01 . 

17. Large Yam Hawkmoth 
Theretra nessus Drury 1773 

KFP: 05, RFP: 01, NR: 01. 

Dioscoreaceae 

1. Dioscorea hispida Dennst.: Annual herb. Not 
common, 01, New Record. 

18. Grapevine Black Hawkmoth 
Tlieretra clotho clotho Drury 1773 

KFP: 05, RFP: 05, NR: 05. 

Araceae 

1 . Amorphophallus commutatus (Schott.) Engler: 
Annual herb, Common, 01, Less Preferred, New 
Record. 

Leeaceae 

2. Leea asiatica (Linn.) Ridsdale: Annual herb, 
Very common, 02, Preferred, New Record. 

Vitaceae 

3 . Ampelocissus latifolia (Roxb.) Planch.: Annual 
climber. Very common, 05, Most preferred, New Record. 

4. Cayratia triflora (Linn.) Domin: Annual 
climber. Not common, 01, Less preferred. New Record. 

5. Cissus elongata Roxb.: Annual climber, Not 
common, 02, Preferred, New Record. 

19. Levant Hawkmoth 

Theretra alecto alecto Linnaeus 1758 

KFP: 06, RFP: 02, NR: 02. 



112 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMQTHS OF SGNP 




J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



113 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 




J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Table 3: List of Larval Food Plants (contd.) 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 




J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



115 



Moth Species Known Food Plants Food Plants Recorded Moth Species Known Food Plants Food Plants Recorded 

(Food plants known from (new records are given in (Food plants known from (new records are given in 

the study area are given bold type) the study area are given bold type) 

in bold type) ' n hold type) 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



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(Food plants known from (new records are given in (Food plants known from (new records are given in 

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LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



117 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



Rubiaccae 

1. Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa Roxb.: 
Evergreen tree. Common, 02. preferred. New Record. 
Vitaceae 

2. Ampelocissus latifolia (Roxb.) Planch.: Annual 
climber, Very common, 02, New Record. 

20. Golden Striped Sphinx 
Theretra lycetus Cramer 1775 

KFP: 04, RFP: 02, NR: 02. 

Leeaceae 

1. Leea asiatica (Linn.) Ridsdale: Annual herb, 
Very common, 14, Most Preferred, New Record. 

2. Leea macrophylla Roxb. ex Hornem: Annual 
herb. Not common, 04, Preferred, New Record. 

21. Silver Striped Hawkmoth 
Theretra oldenlandiae Fabricius 1775 

KFP: 11, RFP: 02, NR: 02. 

Balsaniinaceae 

1. Impatiens balsamina Linn.: Annual herb. 
Common, 01, Less Preferred, New Record. 

Vitaceae 

2. Ampelocissus latifolia (Roxb.) Planch.: Annual 
climber. Very common, 02, Preferred, New Record. 

22. Copper Hawkmoth 
Theretra castanea Moore 1872 

KFP: 04, RFP: 02, NR: 02. 

Araceae 

1 . Arisaema murrayi Hook: Annual herb. Not 
found in the study area, 1 6, Most preferred. New Record. 

2. Amorphophallus commutatus (Schott.) Engler: 
Annual herb. Common, 01, Preferred, New Record. 

23. Little Yam Hawkmoth 
Pergesa acteus Cramer 1779 

KFP: 07, RFP: 02, NR: 02 
Araceae 

1 . Amorphophallus commutatus (Schott.) Engler: 
Annual herb, Common, 04, Most preferred. New 
Record. 

Leeaceae 

2. Leea asiatica (Linn.) Ridsdale: Annual herb. 
Very common, 01, Less Preferred, New Record. 

The larval food plants were recorded from the 
study area as well as from other areas (Table 3). For 
Family Saturniidae, of the 80 known food plants, 1 7 are 
found in the study area, of which we recorded only 5 
along with 10 new larval food plants. For Family 
Sphingidae, of the 1 1 1 known food plants, 49 are found 
in the study area, of which we recorded 1 1 along with 
33 new larval food plants. The ratio of known to new 



food plants for each family is 80:10 for Saturnids and 
11 1:33 forSphingids. 

ABUNDANCE OF LARVAL FOOD PLANTS 

As the study area has predominantly deciduous 
vegetation, analysis was carried out in order to assess 
the food availability in different seasons. The vegetation 
analysis of the recorded larval food plants was conducted 
in two seasons, Monsoon (July) and Non-Monsoon 
(March) so that both seasonal and perennial food plants 
were covered. 

The monsoon survey showed that most of the food 
plants were seasonal climbers and shrubs. Leea asiatica, 
L. macrophylla , Amorphophallus commutatus, 
Ampelocissus latifolia and Pueraria tuberosa were 
available during the monsoon in the study area. These 
perennial plants had very short life cycles that 
synchronized with the end of the monsoon. The 
abundance of the seasonal plants exceeded that of the 
perennial food plants in the study area. All the recorded 
larval food plants could not be covered in the vegetation 
analysis, as they did not fall within the range of the 
quadrats laid out. Altogether, 22 larval food plants were 
recorded, of which 6 were deciduous, 1 0 were evergreen 
and 6 were seasonal. As per Fig. 3, it was observed 
that during monsoon, the herb Leea asiatica was most 
abundant, followed by a shrub Helicteres isora, climber 
Ampelocissus latifolia and herb Amorphophallus 
commutatus. Except Helicteres isora , the others were 
seasonal plants. Eleven larval food plants, which were 
poorly represented in the survey, were listed as ‘Others’ 
in Fig. 3. These included Hymenodictyon orixense, 
Terminal ia crenulata, Haldina cordifolia, Leea 
macrophylla, Pueraria tuberosa, Pavetta siphonanthci, 
Zizyphus mauritiana, Mitragyma parvifolia. Gardenia 
lucida, Cordia dichotoma and Zizyphus rugosa. 

The survey of food plants in the non-monsoon 
season showed low diversity. It was observed that most 
of the food plants recorded were evergreen with mature 
leaves, except Morinda tinctoria var. tomentosa and 
Carissa congesta that had tender leaves, which was 
foraged by the caterpillars. The survey documented 6 
species of larval food plants (see Fig. 4), which were 
solely foraged by Sphingids. These were all evergreen 
trees, except for the shrub Helicteres isora, which was 
deciduous. Of the 6 species, 3 were dominant, 
contributing 95% of the total larval food plants. The most 
dominant was Helicteres isora , followed by the 
evergreen Carissa congesta and Morinda tinctoria. 
The other evergreen plants, Hymenodictyon orixense, 
and Haldina cordifolia and Gardenia lucida among 
‘Others’ in Fig. 4 constituted the remainder. 



118 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 







A latifolia 
10 % 

Fig. 3: Abundance of Larval Food Plants (Wet Season) 



C. congests 
31% 



H. orixense 
4 % 



Others 
3 % 




M. tinctoria 
23% 



H isora 
41% 



Fig. 4 Abundance of Larval Food Plants (Dry Season) 



DISCUSSION 

Seasonal occurrence of larval food plants was 
found to determine the moth species feeding on the 
plants. Since Sphingids feed on seasonal as well as 
perennial plants, they were found throughout the year, 
while Saturnids, which mainly feed on deciduous trees 
in the larval stage suffered a setback. Family Sphingidae 
utilizes a variety of larval food plants, ranging from 
climbers to trees, whereas Saturniidae exclusively 
preferred trees. The variation observed for Sphingidae 
was not only in the diversity, but also in the abundance 
of food plants. 



The study supports the views of Speight and Wain 
House (1989), who stated that food plants that are 
abundant and widely distributed are host to more insect 
species than those with restricted distribution. For 
Sphingidae, the plant family Rubiaceae, which supports 
maximum moth species i.e. 8., being common and 
perennial, was available throughout the year, especially 
for Macroglossum gyrans, which was also found round 
the year. 

The finding also reflected the views of Jermy 
( 1 984), who stated that insect diversity could be broadly 
predicted from the abundance of a particular plant 
species. This association clearly proves that insects and 
plants have co-evolved. In the study area, 33 new larval 
food plants supported 20 species of Sphingid 
Hawkmoths, showing clearly the relation between moth 
diversity and abundance of the food plants. With the 
new and present records the number of larval food plants 
for Family Saturniidae has increased from 80 to 90 and 
for Family Sphingidae from 1 1 1 to 1 44. 

The study also supports Scott ( 1 933) who theorised 
that the selection of certain food plants by moths appears 
to be not very reliable. Though the occurrence of moth 
species is solely dependent on the availability of food 
plants, the range of any species of hawkmoth (e.g. 
Marumba dyras ) is by no means coincidental with that 
of its food plants, while some common species (e.g. 
Macroglossum belis ) may be found where their food 
plants are available, others (e.g. Pergesa acteus) are 
found only in very restricted areas, though their food 
plant covers a wide range. One species was common 
(e.g. Theretra clotho ) and widespread; while another 
closely allied (e.g. Theretra alecto ) species feeding on 
the same plant was rare and restricted. 

In generalist moth species, it was observed that 
while a few species were selective about their larval 
food plants, some showed ‘acting specialist’ behaviour. 
In Family Saturniidae, Actias selene was the acting 
specialist because it preferred Lannea coromandelica 
over Lager stroemia lanceolata, a known food plant 
from the study area, while Nephele hespera from 
Family Sphingidae known to prefer Carissa carandas , 
which was restricted to the southern part of the country, 
preferred Carissa congesta, an allied plant species in 
the study area. In generalist species, moths preferred 
new larval food plants over the known e.g. Marumba 
indicus, which had 4 known larval food plants from the 
study area, preferred a new larval food plant. Also, 
Theretra clotho ignored its only known larval food plant 
for 5 new larval food plants, while Neogurelca hyas 
preferred one to its 3 known larval food plants. Since 
the known larval food plants were compiled from 
different parts of the country, it could be concluded that 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



119 




LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SGNP 



geographical location and climatic variation possibly 
influences larval food plant selection of Satumids and 
Sphingids. 

Lastly as per Scott (1933), the specialist and acting 
specialist species, such as Nephele hespera and 

REFER 

Arora, G.S. & l.J. Gupta (1979): Taxonomic studies of some of the 
Indian non-mulberry silkmoths (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae: 
Saturniinae). Mem. zool. Surv. India 16: 1-63. 

Barlow, H.S. & Bernard D’ Abrera ( 1 982): An Introduction to the 
Moths of South East Asia. The Malayan Natural History 
Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Beeson, C.F.S. (1941): The ecology and control of the forest insects 
of India and neighbouring countries. Govt, of India. Dehradun. 
Pp. 695-701 

Chaturvedi, Naresh (1999): A new larval food plant for Tasar Silk 
Moth Antheraea paphia Linn. Indian Forester 125(2): 233. 
Fellowes C.E. Manson (1920): The life history of rare and little 
known sphingidae (Hawkmoths) of the Oriental region,,./ 
Bombay, nat. Hist. Soc. 27: 745-753. 

Hampson, G.H. ( 1 896): The Fauna of British India including Ceylon 
and Burma: Moths, 1. Taylor and Francis, London. 



Macroglossum gyrans, would be treated as indicator 
species, which exclusively preferred single plant species 
i.e. Carissa congesta and Morinda tinctoria var. 
tomentosa and could be used in habitat monitoring 
programmes of the study area. 

N C E S 

Jermy, T. (1984): Evolution of Insect-Host Plant Relationships. The 
American Naturalist 124: 609-630. 

Kehimkar, I.D. (1997). Moths of India — An introduction, NCSTC- 
Hombill Series, Mumbai. 

Patil, Neelam (1993): Plant-Insect Interaction. M.Sc. Thesis, 
Mumbai University, Mumbai. 

Scott, F.B. (1933): Notes on the food plants of Indian Hawkmoths. 

J. Bombay, nat. Hist. Soc. 36: 938-943. 

Scott, F.B. (1983): Notes on Indian Hawkmoths. In: A Century of 
Natural History (Ed: Daniel, J.C.). Bombay Natural History 
Society and Oxford University Press. Pp. 618-631. 
Smetacek, P. (1994): The hawkmoths of Kumaon, N. India: A 
probable case of faunal drift. Rec. zool. Surv. India. Calcutta. 
156: 1-55. 

Speight, M.R & D. Wain House (1989). Ecology and Management 
of forest insects. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 



120 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



121-123 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 

A NEW SPECIES OF WOLF SPIDER (ARANEAE: LYCOSIDAE) FROM 
CROP FIELDS OF THE SUNDARBAN ESTUARY, WEST BENGAL, INDIA 1 

S.C. Majumder 2 
'Accepted July, 2001 

2 Sundarban Field Research Station, Zoological Survey of India, Canning Town, South 24 Parganas, Pin 743 329, 

West Bengal, India. 

One new species of wolf spider Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov. from the crop fields of Sundarban 
estuary has been described and illustrated. 

Key words: Spiders, Lycosidae, Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov., Sundarban 



INTRODUCTION 

The unique and fascinating Sundarban is the 
largest natural mangrove block in the world. Various 
workers, including Tikader and Malhotra (1980), 
Majumder and Tikader (1991), Biswas and Biswas ( 1 992) 
have studied the taxonomy of spiders from Sundarban. 
Tikader and Malhotra ( 1 980) described one new species 
and reported four species of wolf spider from the 
Sundarban estuarine region. Majumder and Tikader 
(1991) described one and reported 3 species of sac 
spiders from this area. Biswas and Biswas (1992) 
reported only one species of wolf spider from Sundarban 
area. In the present study, a new species Arctosa 
sandeshkhaliensis has been identified. The types of 
the new species are deposited in the National Collection 
of Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. 

MATERIAL AND METHODS 

Spiders were collected from different crop fields 
of the Sundarban estuarine ecosystem, namely 
Hasnabad, Hengalgunj, Sandeshkhali and Gosaba. The 
spiders were collected by hand and placed in vials which 
were brought to the laboratory. The specimens were 
transferred to 70% alcohol in a petri dish for 6-12 hours 
for relaxation of body parts. All specimens were 
preserved in 70% alcohol (single specimen in each vial) 
for further studies as in Tikader ( 1 987). 

Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov. 

(Figs 1-6) 

General Description: Holotype: female: 

Cephalothorax and legs yellowish-brown, abdomen 
blackish (in preserved specimens). 

Measurements (in mm): Total length 6.30, 
carapace length 3.50, width 3.20, abdominal length 2.80, 
width 2.50, legs as in Table 1 . 



Cephalothorax: Carapace slightly longer than wide, 
narrowed anteriorly and wider at the middle; cephalic region 
slightly raised. Anterior margin of the cephalothorax straight 
with the anterolateral corner raised and conical with a few 
long yellowish-brown hairs. Thoracic region provided with 
a deeply distinct longitudinal fovea. Eyes pearly white 
encircled by black patches. Anterior row of eyes straight, 
smaller in structure. The eyes of the second and third rows 
similar in structure and larger than those of the first row 
(Fig. 1). Ocular quadrate longer than wide; wider 
posteriorly and narrowed anteriorly. Sternum oval, pointed 
behind. Chelicerae longer than wide, inner margin with 4 
teeth, outer margin with 2 teeth (Fig. 2). Maxillae longer 
than wide, reddish-brown, anterior end wider and 
scopulated, posterior end narrowed, labium wider than long 
(Fig. 3). Legs long, not so strong, covered with hair and 
spines. Tibia with ventral spines; tarsal scopulae distinct. 
Leg formula 4 2 13. 

Abdomen: Longer than wide, oval, dorsum 
covered with fine pubescence, blunt posteriorly. Venter 
yellow with brown longitudinal band. Epigyne bifurcated 
into anterior and posterior plates (Fig. 4). Internal 
genitalia provided with coiled copulatory sac and 
copulatory openings divided into two parts (Fig. 5). 

Allotype: male: Similar to female except that the 
male palp is without retrolateral apophysis, cymbium long 
and semilunar in shape with narrower anteriorly without 
basal spur, tegulum rounded and convex with flower- 
like regular apophysis, embolus narrowed and elongated, 
abdomen with whitish patches on dorsum (Fig. 6). 

Measurements (in mm): Total length 5.60, 
Carapace length 3.40, width 2.20, abdomen length 3.15, 
width 2.10, legs as in Table 2, palp as in Table 3. 

Material examined: Holotype: 9, Allotype: Id 1 , 
in 70% Alcohol in separate vials, genitalia in microvial 
with holotype. Coll. S.C. Majumder, 16 & 1 7.i. 1 994, 
N.C., ZSI (H.Q.), Regn. No. 5472/18 & 5473/18. 

Type Locality: Durgamandap, Sandeshkhali, 
North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 




Figs 1-6: Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov., 1. Dorsal view of female, legs omitted, 

2. Chelicera showing arrangement of teeth, 3. Maxillae and labium, ventral aspect, 4. Epigyne, ventral aspect, 
5. Internal genitalia, dorsal aspect, 6. Male palp, lateral aspect 



Table 1 : Measurements (in mm) of leg segments of Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov. (Female) 



Leg 


Femur 


Patella & Tibia 


Metatarsus 


Tarsus 


Total 


1 


2.10/2.10 


2.80/2.80 


2.00/2.00 


1.10/1.10 


8.00 


II 


2.80/2.80 


3.10/3.10 


1.20/1.20 


1.15/1.15 


8.25 


III 


1.80/1.80 


2.50/2.50 


1.90/1.90 


1.05/1.05 


7.25 


IV 


3.10/3.10 


3.50/3.50 


2.30/2.30 


1.30/1.30 


10.20 



Distribution: Sundarban areas (Sandeshkhali, 
North 24 Parganas), West Bengal, India. 

Discussion: This species resembles Arctosa 
khudiensis Tikader & Malhotra in general appearance, 
but differs from it in the following particulars. 

1. Cephalothorax not parallel sided, wider at the 
middle, abdomen blunt posteriorly, whereas in 



A. khudiensis Tikader and Malhotra cephalothorax more 
or less parallel sided and not wider at the middle, 
abdomen not blunt posteriorly. 

2. The eyes of the second row similar in structure 
with those of the third row, whereas in A. khudiensis eyes 
of the second row larger than those of the third row. 

3. Epigyne structurally different. 



122 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 




NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Table 2: Measurements (in mm) of leg segments of Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov. (Male) 



Leg 


Femur 




Patella & Tibia 


Metatarsus 


Tarsus 


Total 


1 


2.20/2.20 




2.40/2.40 


2.05/2.05 


1.05/1.05 


7.70 


II 


2.40/2.40 




2.60/2.60 


2.10/2.10 


1.05/1.05 


8.15 


III 


2.10/2.10 




2.30/2.30 


2 05/2.05 


1.05/1.05 


7.5 


IV 


2.60/2.60 




2.90/2.90 


2.30/2.30 


1.10/1.10 


8 90 




Table 3: 


Measurements (in mm) of male palp of Arctosa sandeshkhaliensis sp. nov. 






Femur 


Patella 




Cymbium & tegulum 


Embolus 


Total 




1.70/1.70 


1.20/1.20 




2.50/2.50 


1.50/1.50 


6.90/6.90 



Etymology: The species is named after the type 
locality Sandeshkhali. 

ACKNO WLEDG EM ENTS 

I thank Dr. J.R.B. Alfred, Director, Zoological 
Survey of India, Kolkata and Shri K.N. Reddy, Officer- 

REFER 

Biswas, B.K. & K. Biswas (1992): Fauna of West Bengal: Araneae, 
Spiders. State Fauna, Series, Fauna of West Bengal. Zoological 
Society of India 3(3): 357-500. 

Majumder, S.C. & B.K. Tikader ( 1991 ): Studies on some spiders of 
the Family Clubonidae from India. Rec. zool. Surv. India, 



in-charge, Sundarban Field Research Station, 
Canning, West Bengal for kind permission to carry 
out the work and also Dr. B.K. Biswas Scientist 
SE & Officer-in-charge, Arachnida Station, Zoological 
Survey of India, Kolkata for confirming the new 
species. 

N C E S 

Occ. Pap. 102: 1-175. 

Tikader, B.K. (1987): Handbook of Indian Spiders. Zoological 
Survey of India. Pp. 1-251. 

Tikader, B.K. & M.S. Malhotra (1980): Fauna of India. Spiders 
(Lycosidae). 2(2): 259-446. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



123 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



124-129 



NEW ORB-WEAVING SPIDERS OF THE GENUS CYRTOPHORA SIMON 
(ARANEAE: ARANEIDAE) FROM BANGLADESH 1 

V. Biswas 2 and D. Raychaudhuri 3 

'Accepted July, 2001 

department of Zoology, Government P.C. College, Bagerhat 9301, Bangladesh. 

Entomology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, 35, Ballygunge Circular Road, 

Kolkata 700 019, West Bengal, India. 

Email: dinendrarc@yahoo.co.in, dinendrarc@rediffmail.com 

Two new species of orb-weaving spiders of the Genus Cyrtophora Simon, C. nareshi and C. lahirii are 
described and illustrated. Another, C. cicatrosa (Stoliczka) is reported as a new record for the country. A key 
to the species is also given. 

Key words: Spider, new species, new record, Cyrtophora , Araneae, Araneidae, Bangladesh 



INTRODUCTION 

Spiders of the Family Araneidae (=Argiopidae) are 
poorly known in Bangladesh, though Chowdhury and 
Nagari (1981), Chowdhury and Pal ( 1984), Biswas et al. 
(1993), Okuma et al. (1993), Begum and Biswas (1997), 
and Biswas and Raychaudhuri (1998) have made some 
valuable contributions. Spider fauna of neighbouring 
countries, like Burma (Thorell 1895), India (Pocock 
1 900; Tikader 1 970, 1 982; Tikader and Bal 1981; Tikader 
and Biswas 1981 ; Saha et al. 1995; Biswas et al. 1997) 
and Pakistan (Dyal 1935) are well documented. 

The Genus Cyrtophora Simon, recorded since 
1 988 from Bangladesh, is composed of three species of 
which two C. lahirii and C. nareshi are new to science, 
while C. cicatrosa (Stoliczka) was hitherto unknown 
from Bangladesh. 

The types are at present in the collection of the 
Department of Zoology, Government P.C. College, 
Bagerhat, Bangladesh and will be deposited in the 
Museum of the Department of Zoology, University of 
Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

MATERIAL AND M ETHODS 

Collection of spider specimens was done following 
Kaston ( 1 972), Mackie ( 1 978) and Tikader ( 1 987). The 
collected materials were studied using a Stereozoom 
Binocular Microscope (Model, Zeiss-SV8) and all 
the measurements (in mm) were taken with an 
eyepiece. 

The species were identified following Tikader 
(1982, 1987), Chen and Zhang (1989), Zhao (1993), 
Yaginuma ( 1 986), Davies ( 1 988) and Yin et al. ( 1 997) 
and confirmed by the Zoological Survey of India, 

Kolkata. 



Genus: Cyrtophora Simon 1864 

1864. Cyrtophora Simon, Hist. Nat. des Araign., 
7:261. 

1890. Euetria: Thorell, Annali. Mus. civ. 
Genova, 28: 109. 

1921. Cyrtophora : Gravely, Rec. Indian Mus., 
22(4): 413. 

1962. Cyrtophora: Tikader, J. Linn. Soc., 44(300): 
561. 

1993. Cyrtophora: Okuma et al., Illust. Mongr. 
Rice-field spiders, Bangladesh: 29. 

1997. Cyrtophora: Platnick, Advances in Spider 
Taxonomy (1992-95): 498. 

Key to the species 

1 . Abdomen anteriorly with 4 conical humps, posteriorly sloped 

and rectangularly produced (Fig. 1); sternum with long, 
slender, white band (Fig. 4); epigyne and internal genitalia as 
in Figs 5 and 6 cicatrosa 

— Abdomen without above characteristics; sternum with V and 
U-shaped area 2 

2. Abdomen parallel-sided (Fig. 7); cephalic region never raised 
or produced (Fig. 7); sternum broadly triangular, medially 
with a U-shaped longitudinal reticulate area (Fig. 10); inner 
and outer margins of chelicerae with 2 and 3 teeth (Fig. 8) 

respectively; epigyne as in Fig. 1 1 nareshi sp. nov. 

Abdomen postero-medially wide (Fig. 13); cephalic region 
strongly raised and produced (Fig. 1 3); sternum heart-shaped, 
medially with a V-shaped area (Fig. 16); each of inner and 
outer margins of chelicerae with 2 teeth (Fig. 14); epigyne as 
in Fig. 17 lahirii sp. nov. 

Cyrtophora cicatrosa (Stoliczka) 

(Figs 1-6) 

1869. Epeira ( Nephila ) cicatrosa Stoliczka, 
J. Asiatic Soc. Beng. 33: 242. 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



1900. Araneus cicatrosa : Pocock, Fauna Brit. 
India, Arach.: 226. 

1935. Cyrtophora cicatrosa'. Dyal, Bull. Zool. 
Panjab Univ. 1: 175. 

1962. Cyrtophora cicatrosa : Tikader, J. Linn. 
Soc. 44(300): 563. 

1982. Cyrtophora cicatrosa: Tikader, Fauna of 
India, Araneae: Spiders 2(1): 178. 

1997. Cyrtophora cicatrosa: Biswas et al., 
Entomon 22(3 & 4): 230. 

Material examined: 1 ?, Khulna, 10.x. 1993, Coll. 
V. Biswas; 2 9 9,Manikganj, 1 2.v. 1992, Coll. V. Biswas; 

1 9, Rajshahi, 3.iii. 1992, Coll. V. Biswas. 

Distribution: Bangladesh: Khulna, Manikganj, 
Rajshahi, Jessore; India; Pakistan; Burma (Myanmar); 
Malaysia; New Guinea; Australia (Tikader 1982). 

Cyrtophora nareshi sp. nov. 

(Figs 7-12) 

Holotype (Female): Measurements (in mm): Total 
body length 6.00; carapace length 2.00, width 2.10; 
abdominal length 4.00, width 4.1 0. Legs as in Table 1 . 



Colour (specimens preserved in alcohol): 
Cephalothorax yellow-green; legs brown-yellow with 
white markings. Abdomen decorated with various 
markings. Abdomen dark yellow. 

Carapace: Longer than wide, anteriorly narrowing, 
posteriorly wide; dorsum with white, median decorated 
area (Fig. 7); cephalic region slightly raised; eyes brown 
and pearly-white, dissimilar; lateral eyes larger than 
others; anterior row recurved and posterior row 
procurved; anteromedians situated on a protuberance; 
ocular-quad longer than w ide, anteriorly narrowing and 
posteriorly wide; chelicerae brown, long, nearly parallel 
sided, inner and outer margins of chelicerae with 
2 and 3 teeth respectively (Fig. 8); maxillae brown, long, 
boat-shaped, medially wide, scopulate (Fig. 9); labium 
pale brown, pot-like, wider than long, scopulate (Fig. 9); 
sternum brown, with U-shaped, white reticulate 
longitudinal area, nearly heart-shaped, bluntly pointed, 
sparsely spined posteriorly, anterior margin concave 
(Fig. 10); legs long and slender, clothed with hairs and 
spines; leg formula 124 3 and measurements as in Table 1 . 

Abdomen: Elongate, oval, parallel sided, posterior 
extremity narrow; dorsum with brown and white, few 




Figs 1-6: Cyrtophora cicatrosa (Stoliczka), 1. Female dorsal view (legs omitted), 

2. Chelicerae, 3. Maxillae and Labium, 4. Sternum, 5. Epigynum, 6 Internal genitalia 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



125 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Table 1: Leg segments of Cyrtophora nareshi sp. nov. 9 measurements (in mm) 



Leg 


Femur 


Patella 


Tibia 


Metatarsus 


Tarsus 


Total 


1 


7. 0/7.0 


2.0/2. 0 


5. 0/5.0 


7.0/7.0 


2. 0/2.0 


23.0/23.0 


II 


7. 0/7.0 


1.5/1. 5 


5. 0/5.0 


7. 0/7.0 


1.9/1 .9 


22.4/22.4 


III 


4. 0/4.0 


1. 0/1.0 


3. 0/3.0 


3. 0/3.0 


1.2/1 .2 


12.2/12.2 


IV 


7. 0/7.0 


1.5/1. 5 


4. 0/4.0 


6. 5/6. 5 


2. 0/2.0 


21.0/21.0 


Palps 


3.1/3. 1 


2.0/2 0 


2. 5/2. 5 


— 


1. 0/1.0 


8.6/86 



sigilla and brown spots; epigyne and internal genitalia 
as in Figs 1 1 and 12. 

Specimens examined: Holotype ?,3.iii.l992, Coll. 
V. Biswas. Paratype; 1 9 , other data same as holotype. 
Type locality: Digha, Rajshahi, Bangladesh. 
Male: Unknown. 



Distribution: Bangladesh: Rajshahi (known only 
from the type locality). 

Etymology: The species is named after Prof. 
Naresh Chandra Dutta, Department of Zoology, 
University of Calcutta, India, who was a source of 
inspiration. 




Figs 7-12: Cyrtophora nareshi sp. nov., 7. Female dorsal view (legs omitted), 8. Chelicerae, 9. Maxillae and Labium, 

10. Sternum, 11, Epigynum, 12. Internal genitalia 



126 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. ( 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Remarks: The new species is close to 
Cyrtophora lahirii sp. nov. but differs as follows: 

1. Cephalothorax with deep and distinct fovea, 
whereas in C. lahirii sp. nov. fovea absent. 

2. Abdomen dorsally reticulate, but in C. lahirii 
sp. nov. it is nearly alveolate. 

3. Sternum medially reticulate, whereas in 
C. lahirii sp. nov. it is white medially. 

4. Outer margin of chelicerae with 3 teeth, but in 
C. lahirii it is 2 in number. 

5. Epigyne of both the species structurally different. 



Cyrtophora lahirii sp. nov. 

(Figs 13-18) 

Holotype (Female): Measurements (in mm). Total 
length 6. 1 0; carapace length 2.20, width 2.00; abdominal 
length 3.8, width 4.10. Legs as in Table 2. 

Colour (specimens preserved in alcohol): 
Cephalothorax yellow-brown; legs light brown with 
brown bands; abdomen brown with white patches. 

Carapace: Longer than wide, wider posteriorly; 
cephalic region raised, produced, sphere shaped. 






i i 



Figs 13-18: Cyrtophora lahirii sp. nov., 13. Female dorsal view (legs omitted), 14. Chelicerae, 15. Maxillae and Labium, 

16. Sternum, 17. Epigynum, 18. Internal genitalia 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



127 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Table 2 Leg segments of Cyrtophora lahirii sp. nov 9 measurements (in mm) 



Leg 


Femur 


Patella 


Tibia 


Metatarsus 


Tarsus 


Total 


1 


7. 0/7.0 


1.0/1 0 


5 0/5 0 


6. 0/6.0 


2. 5/2. 5 


21.5/21.5 


II 


7. 0/7.0 


2 0/2.0 


4 5/4.5 


7. 0/7.0 


2.0/2. 0 


22.5/22.5 


III 


4.0/4 0 


1.0/1 0 


2. 0/2.0 


3. 0/3.0 


1.5/1 .5 


11.5/11.5 


IV 


5. 5/5. 5 


1.5/1 5 


4.4/44 


6 0/6.0 


2.0/2.0 


19.4/19.4 


Palps 


3 0/3.0 


1. 0/1.0 


2. 0/2.0 


— 


1. 1/1.1 


7. 1/7.1 



with 2 deeply distinct cervical furrows (Fig. 13); eyes 
brown, similar; anterior row recurved and posterior 
row procurved; lateral eyes close and placed marginally; 
ocular quad squarish; chelicerae long, cylindrical, 
inner and outer margins with 2 teeth each (Fig. 14); 
maxillae long, longer than wide and scopulate 
anteriorly (Fig. 15); labium brown, bowl-shaped and 
scopulate anteriorly (Fig. 15); sternum dark-brown, 
heart-shaped, with a white V-shaped longitudinal 
region, anterior margin concave; legs long, slender, leg 
formula 2 14 3 and measurements as in Table 2. 

Abdomen. Broadly oval, longer than wide, 
narrowing at both ends (Fig. 13); dorsum decorated; 
ventrally pale, with a longitudinal brown patch extending 
from epigastric furrow up to the spinnerets; epigyne as 
in Fig. 17. 

Specimens examined: Holotype: ?, 12.V.1993, 
Coll. V. Biswas; Paratypes: 1 ?, other data same as 
holotype and 1?, Narail, Bangladesh, 5.vii.l992, 
Coll. V. Biswas. 

Type locality: Magura, Bangladesh 
Male: Unknown. 

REFER 

Begum, A. & V. Biswas ( 1997): A list of spider fauna of Barisal- 
Division, Bangladesh (Araneae: Arachnida) Bangladesh J 
Zool. 25(2): 207-210. 

Biswas, V. & D. Raychaudhuri (1998): Spiders of the genus Cyclosa 
Menge (Araneae: Araneidae) from Bangladesh. Entomon 
23(1): 45-53. 

Biswas, V., H R. Khan, N.Q. Kamal & A. Begum (1993): A 
preliminary study of the rice-field spiders in Jhenidah, 
Bangladesh. Bangladesh J. Zool 21: 85-92. 

Biswas, V., S. Saha & D. Raychaudhuri (1997): Araneidae and 
Theridiidae of Buxa Tiger Reserve. West Bengal: Genera 
Leucauge White, Cyrtophora Stoliczka and Theridula 
Emerton. Entomon 22 (3 & 4): 229-233. 

Chen, Z.F. & Z.H. Zhang (1989): Fauna of Zhejiang, Araneida. 

Zhejiang Sci. and Tech. Pub. House. 356 pp. 

Chowdhury, S.H. & S. Nagari (1981): Rice-field spiders from 
Chittagong. Proc. Zool. Soc., Bangladesh, pp. 53-72. 
Chowdhury, S.H. & S.K. Pal (1984): Further report on rice-field 
spiders from Bangladesh. Chittagong Univ. Studies, ll, 8: 25- 
39. 

Davies, V.T. (1988): An illustrated guide to the genera of orb-w-eaving 
spiders in Australia. Mem Qld. Mus 25(2): 273-332. 



Distribution: Bangladesh: Magura, Narail. 
Etymology: The species has been named after 
Dr. Pulak Lahiri, Professor, Department of Zoology, 
University of Calcutta, India, for his extreme interest in 
the work. 

Remarks: The new species at best may be 
related to a Chinese species Cyrtophora guangxiensis 
Yin et al. (Yin et al. 1990) in having cephalic region 
greatly produced, cervical furrows deeply distinct and 
ovoid abdomen. The species stands distinct in having 
fovea and markedly different epigynum. The species 
also does not show any resemblance in general 
appearance as well as epigyne and internal genitalia, 
which are different from those of its Indian congeners. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank Dr. Animesh Bal, Scientist SE and 
Dr. S.C. Majumder, Scientist SD, Zoological Survey of 
India, Kolkata, for confirming the identification and the 
Head, Department of Zoology, University of Calcutta, 
for laboratory facilities. 

;nces 

Dyal, S. (1935): Fauna of Lahore-4. Bull. Dept Zool., Panjab Univ. 
1: 191-252. 

Kaston, B.J. (1972): How to know the spiders. 2nd Edn. Wm. C. 

Brown Pub. Company, Dubuque, Iowa. 289 pp. 

Mackie, J. (1978): An introduction to the study of spiders. Brit. 

Arachnol. Soc. Leaflet No I : 1-10. 

Okuma, C., N.Q. Kamal, Y. Hirashima. Z. Alam & T. Ogata (1993): 
Illustrated Monograph on the rice-field spiders of Bangladesh. 
IPSA-JAICA, Salna, Gazipur: 1-93. 

Pocock, R.I. (1900): The Fauna of British India, Arachnida. Taylor 
& Francis, London. 279 pp. 

Saha, S„ V. Biswas, S.C. Majumder & D. Raychaudhuri (1995): 
Araneidae of Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal. Acta arachnol, 
44(1): 11-14. 

Thorell, T. (1895): Descriptive Catalogue of the spiders of Burma. 

British Museum of Natural History, London. 406 pp. 
Tikader, B.K. (1970): Spiders of Sikkim. Rec. zool. Surv. India 
64(1-4): 1-84. 

Tikader, B.K. (1982): Fauna of India, Spiders Il( 1 ), (Araneidae = 
Argiopidae). Zoological Survey of India. Pp. 1-293. 
Tikader, B.K. (1987): Handbook on Indian spiders. Director, 
Zoological Survey of India. 251 pp. 



128 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Tikader, B.K. & A. Bal(1981): Studies on some orb-weaving spiders 
of the genera Neoscona Simon and Araneus Clerk of the 
Family Araneidae (=Argiopidae) from India. Rec. zool. Surv 
India, Occ. Pap. No. 24: 1-60. 

Tikader, B.K. & Bijan Biswas ( 1981 ): Spider fauna of Calcutta and 
Vicinity. Rec. zool. Surv India, Occ Pap. No. 30: 1-149. 

Yaginuma, T. (1986): Spiders of Japan in colour. (New Edn.), 
Hoikusha Pub. Co., Osaka. 305 pp. 



Yin, C.M., J.F. Wang, L. Xie & X. Peng ( 1990): Spiders in China 
(Arachnida: Araneae). Hunan Normal University Press, 
Hunan. 256 pp. 

Yin, C.M., J.F. Wang, M.S. Zhu, L.P. Xie, X.J. Peng & Y.H. Bao 
( 1 997): The Fauna Sinica (Arachnida: Araneae: Araneidae). 
Science-Press, Beijing. 460 pp. 

Zhao, J.Z. (1993): Spiders in the cotton fields in China. Wuhan 
Press, China. 552 pp. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



129 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



130-137 



TWO NEW SPECIES OF PUNTIUS HAMILTON-BUCHANAN 
(CYPRINIFORMES: CYPRINIDAE) FROM MANIPUR, INDIA, 

WITH AN ACCOUNT OF PUNTIUS SPECIES FROM THE STATE' 

W. VlSHWANATH AND JULIANA LaISRAM 2 
'Accepted February, 2001 

department of Life Sciences, Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal 795 003, Manipur, India. 

Email: vnath_w@hotmail.com 

This paper gives the diagnostic characters of ten species and detailed description of two new species of the 
genus Puntius Hamilton-Buchanan from Manipur. P. javanicus and P stoliczkanus are recorded for the first time 
from the state. P. ornatus sp. nov. differs from P phutunio in banding pattern (a single dark transverse band at 
the 18th-20th lateral line scale around caudal peduncle vs. four dark bands on body). P bizonatus sp. nov. also 
differs from P phutunio in body form and banding pattern (two dark transverse bands vs. four on the body). A 
key to the species of Puntius of Manipur is provided. 

Key words: Fish, genus Puntius , Manipur, Puntius ornatus sp. nov, Puntius bizonatus sp. nov. 



INTRODUCTION 

Hora (1921) listed and gave a brief systematic 
account of eight species of Barbus Cuvier from 
Manipur, of which only four are now included in the 
genus Puntius Hamilton-Buchanan. They are: P sarana 
(Val.), P. ticto ticto (Ham.-Buch.), P. conchonius 
(Ham.-Buch.) and P. phutunio (Ham.-Buch.). He 
identified P. phutunio based on the field notebook of 
Dr. Annandale. Later reports on the fishes of Manipur 
by Menon (1952), and Menon (1954) did not include 
additional species of the genus. Vishwanath and Singh 
(1986) described P. jayarami Vishwanath & Tombi. 
Menon et al. (2000) compared specimens of fishes 
collected from Loktak lake, supposedly identified as 
P. phutunio by Hora (1921) with typical P. phutunio 
collected by W. Rainboth and A. Rahman from Rangpur, 
Dharala river in Bangladesh. The Manipur specimen 
turned out to be new and was described as 
P manipurensis by Menon et al. (2000). P. chola 
(Ham.-Buch.) and P. sophore (Ham.-Buch.) were first 
reported by Vishwanath et al. (1998) from Chatrickong 
and Lokchao rivers in Manipur. A recent survey of the 
fishes of Manipur included twelve species of Puntius , 
including two new species. P. stoliczkanus (Day) is 
recorded for the first time from the State. P. javanicus 
(Bleeker) is an introduced species. This paper gives 
detailed descriptions of the two new species and 
diagnostic characters of ten species. 

MATERIAL AND METHODS 

Type specimens of the two new species, namely 



Puntius ornatus and P. bizonatus are deposited in the 
Manipur University Museum of Fishes (MUMF). 
Measurements and counts follow Jayaram (1999). The 
body proportions are expressed as percentages of 
standard length (SL) and head length (HL). For the 
paratypes, the mean values are given first, followed in 
parentheses by range as percentages. 

Abbreviations used: JL = Juliana Laisram, KNS = 
K. Nebeshwor Sharma, MSS = M. Shantakumar 
Sharma; KBD = K. Bimola Devi; R = river; WV = W. 
Vishwanath. 

Key to species 



1 . Barbels absent 2 

— Barbels present 8 

2. Dark circular band around caudal peduncle 3 

— No dark circular band around caudal peduncle 4 



3. One black band forming a ring around caudal peduncle 

P. ornatus 

— One black band forming a ring around caudal peduncle and 

one transverse band on 3 ,d -4 ,h lateral line scale 

P. bizonatus 

4. Dorsal spine smooth P. sophore 

— Dorsal spine serrated posteriorly 5 

5. Lateral line complete P. stoliczkanus 

— Lateral line incomplete 6 

6. Scales from dorsal fin origin to lateral line 3, pores on lateral 

line 3 to 5 P. manipurensis 

— Scales from dorsal fin origin to lateral line more than 3, pores 

on lateral line 5 or more 7 

7. Dorsal fin tipped with black P. conchonius 

— Dorsal fin not tipped with black P. ticto ticto 

8. Barbels 1 pair, body marked with two conspicuous dark 
blotches, first behind operculum and second near base of 

caudal fin P. chola 

Barbels 2 pairs, body without dark blotches 9 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



9. Dorsal spine finely serrated posteriorly 10 

— Dorsal spine strongly serrated posteriorly 1 1 

10. Scales from dorsal fin origin to lateral line 6 .... P orphoides 

— Scales from dorsal fin origin to lateral line 5 P. sarana 

11. Lateral transverse scales 5/1/3 Pjayarami 

— Lateral transverse scales 6/1/4 P.javanicus 



Puntius bizonatus sp. nov. 

(Fig- 1) 

Holotype: MUMF 3017., 35.8 mm SL. Lokchao R., 
Moreh. 24-26.iii.1999, WV & party. 

Paratypes: MUMF 3017A/5., 26.9-39.4 mm 
SL., Lokchao R., Moreh, same collection data as 
holotype. 

Description: D. iii, 8; R i, 13; V. i, 8; A. iii, 5; 
C. 9+8. Proportional measurements and counts are in 
Table 1 . A small sized Puntius with two dark transverse 
bands across the body. Body deep, 37(36.5-39.6)% of 
SL. Barbels absent. Both dorsal and ventral profiles 
slightly curved. Mouth small, subterminal and crescentic, 
snout smooth (23-26% HL), eyes moderate, visible from 
ventral side, scales large. Origin of dorsal fin slightly 
behind that of ventral origin, its last simple ray serrated 
and shorter than body depth. Pectoral fin does not reach 
anterior origin of ventral fin and the latter does not reach 
anal origin. Dorsal fin inserted midway between tip of 
snout and base of caudal fin. It has a few black streaks 
with the last simple ray osseous and serrated. Other 
fins dusky. Caudal fin deeply forked. Lateral line 
incomplete, 4-9 piercing scales; 2 1 in longitudinal series 
and 8 in rows. Branchiostegal rays 3. Pharyngeal teeth 
in 3 rows 2, 3, 5-5, 3, 2. Gill rakers 5+15-18. 

Colour: Silvery white. Two vertical black bands 
on body; the anterior at the third to fourth scales of 
lateral line; the other on the caudal peduncle, 4-5 scales 
ahead of the caudal fin rays. Dorsal fin reddish, streaked 



with black. Pectoral and pelvic fins dusky, anal fin 
reddish, caudal with dark margin. Scales have blackish 
streaks on the dorsal part of body. 

Distribution: India: Lokchao R., Moreh, 
Manipur. 

Etymology: This species is named after the bizonal 
bands on its body. 

Remarks: It is abundantly found only in the 
Chindwin drainage in Manipur. The beautiful bizonal 
bands give the fish an attractive appearance, which may 
prove to be a good aquarium fish. P. bizonatus is similar 
to P. phutunio in having dark bands on body, finely 
serrated osseous dorsal fin ray. However, it differs in 
having only two bands, one on 3rd-4th scale of lateral 
line and another at caudal peduncle vs. four bands on 
P. phutunio. The former also has a shorter snout length 
(5.9 vs. 7.8% of SL) and narrower inter-orbital space 
(9.9 vs. 11.3% of SL). 

The species under description differs from 
P. cumingi'xn having a lateral line series of 22 vs. 19-21, 
lateral transverse scales of 4/1/2 vs. 3‘/2-4/l/3'/2, 
circumpeduncular scales of 12 vs. 8-10, pre-anal scales 
of 14-1 5 vs. 10-1 1, pre-pelvic scales of 8-10 vs. 5-6, gill 
rakers of 5+15-18 vs. 9+13. P. cumingi however, is 
distributed only in Sri Lanka. It differs from P. puntio in 
having two bands vs. one, one osseous and serrated last 
simple dorsal fin ray vs. weakly osseous and smooth 
one, incomplete lateral line of 5-7 pores vs. a complete 
one. P. bizonatus differs from P. ge/ius in having two 
bands vs. three bands, lateral line series of 22 vs. 23-24, 
lateral transverse scales of 4/1/2 vs. 4-5/1/3-4, 
circumpeduncular scales of 12 vs. 6-8, pre-anal scales 
of 1 4- 1 5 vs. 13 and pre-pelvic scales of 8- 1 0 vs. 6 scales. 
Comparison of the new species with its related species 
is given in Table 2. 

Maximum SL: 39.4 mm 




Fig. 1 : Puntius bizonatus sp. nov. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



131 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Table 1 : Morphometric data of P. omatus sp. nov., P. phutunio (Ham.) and P. bizonatus sp. nov. 

in % SL (except SL given in mm) 



Holotype 

MUMF 

3028 


P. omatus sp. nov 
Paratypes 
MUMF 
3028 A/7 
MUMF 
3028B/2 


S.D 


P. phutunio 
(Ham) ZSI 
FI 0929/1 


P. bizonatus sp. nov 
Holotype Paratypes 

MUMF MUMF 

3017 3017 A/5 


S.D 


Standard Length 


42.0 


30.9-42.0 




28.4 


35.8 


26.9-39.4 




Body depth 


35.0 


35.9(34.7-38.7) 


1.9 


39.8 


35.8 


37.8(36.5-39.6) 


1.6 


Caudal length 


29.3 


29.2(24.7-32.2) 


2.3 


34.9 


32.4 


28.3(25.3-29.7) 


2.2 


Head length 


27.4 


26.4 (24.5-27.4) 


1.1 


27.8 


26.0 


25.9(24.4-27.5) 


1.0 


Head depth (at occiput) 


22.4 


20.9(20.0-22.5) 


0.9 


24.3 


23.2 


22.2(20.7-23.9) 


1.1 


Head depth (at eye) 


15.7 


15.5(14.0-17.1) 


0.8 


18.0 


16.8 


16.5(15.5-17.1) 


0.5 


Snout length 


5.7 


5. 9(4. 8-7. 5) 


1.0 


7.8 


5.6 


5. 9(5. 2-7.1) 


0.6 


Eye diameter 


7.9 


8.5(7.9-10.8) 


0.9 


9.2 


8.1 


8. 2(7. 5-8. 9) 


0.5 


Inter-orbital space 


8.8 


9.9(9.2-10.8) 


0.6 


11.3 


9.5 


9.0(7.7-10.2) 


0.9 


Head width (at nares) 


9.5 


8.6(6.9-93) 


0.7 


- 


8.4 


8.5(7.7-93) 


0.6 


Max. head width 


15.2 


14.0(12.9-14.6) 


0.7 


16.6 


15.4 


14.1(12.7-15.1) 


1.0 


Gape width 


5.7 


4.8(42-5.2) 


0.4 


6.0 


6.1 


5. 8(5. 1-6. 3) 


0.4 


Inter-narial space 


5.5 


5.5(44-6.2) 


0.5 


7.4 


4.7 


4. 8(4. 1-6. 3) 


0.7 


Body width (dorsal origin) 


15.2 


15.7(9.6-17.5) 


2.1 


- 


15.6 


14.7(12.3-16.1) 


1.4 


Body width (at anal origin) 


11.0 


10.3(8 4-11.5) 


1.2 


- 


11.5 


10.6(8.6-11.9) 


1.2 


Length of Caudal ped. 


16.4 


17.0(15.5-21.7) 


2.1 


15.1 


19.8 


16.1(15.2-18.0) 


1.8 


Height of Caudal ped. 


13.8 


1 3.5(12 6-15 1) 


0.8 


16.2 


15.1 


4.6(13.7-15.1) 


0.5 


Pre-dorsal length 


54.8 


50.8(48.2-53.3) 


2.4 


46.8 


50.8 


48.9(46.7-51.3) 


1.9 


Post-dorsal length 


45.5 


49.4(45.2-54.6) 


3.2 


51.4 


50.8 


49.5(47.5-51.7) 


1.7 


Pre-pelvic length 


51.2 


50.0(44.3-50.1) 


2.4 


47.2 


50.0 


45.0(34.3-48.6) 


5.5 


Pre-anal length 


73.6 


72.1(66.1-74.0) 


2.6 


70.1 


72.3 


69.6(68.4-71.1) 


1.4 


Pre-anus length 


73.1 


69.2(65.5-71.8) 


2.4 


69.7 


71.2 


67.1(65.8-69.5) 


2.2 


Dorsal fin base length 


14.8 


16.0(14.6-16.9) 


0.9 


19.0 


18.4 


17.5(16.2-19.5) 


1.1 


Dorsal fin height 


21.4 


20 0(17.2-24.9) 


2.4 


21.5 


19.6 


20.9(18.4-22.1) 


1.5 


Pectoral fin length 


18.8 


19.1(16.9-21.1) 


1.3 


23.6 


22.3 


20.3(18.1-22.0) 


7.6 


Ventral fin length 


20.2 


20.5(18.4-22.9) 


1.3 


25.0 


20.7 


20.9(19.0-22.9) 


1.2 


Anal fin base length 


8.8 


8.9(8.1-10.7) 


0.8 


12.7 


11.2 


10.9(10.0-13.0) 


2.9 


Anal fin height 


14.5 


16.2(15.5-18.4) 


1.3 


- 


17.9 


17.9(15.7-19.7) 


3.3 


Pre-dorsal scales 


9 


8-9 




8 


8 


8 




Circumped. scales 


12 


11 




13 


12 


12 




Pre-pelvic scales 


10 


11 




9 


9 


8-10 




Pre-anal scales 


16 


18 




16 


13 


14-15 




Lateral line series 


24 


20-25 




20 


21 


22 




Lateral line rows 


8 


8 




8 


8 


9 




Lateral line pores 


9 


5-9 and 22 




5 


9 


5-7 




LCP/HCP 


1.2 


1.3 




0.9 


1.3 


1.1 





Puntius omatus sp. nov. 

(Fig. 2) 

Holotype: MUMF 3028, 42.0 mm. SL, Lokchao R., 
Moreh, 24.iii. 1999, WV and party. 

Paratypes: MUMF 3028 A/7., 30.9-42.0 mm SL, 
same collection data as holotype. MUMF 3028B/2., 
45.1 mm SL, Lokchao R., Moreh, 14.vii.2000, KNS & 
MSS. 

Description: D. iii, 8; P. i, 11-12; V. i, 8; A. iii, 5- 
6; C. 9+8. Proportional measurements and counts are 



given in Table 1 . A small sized Puntius with a wide 
rounded dark band around caudal peduncle. Body 
moderately deep, its depth longer than head length 
(35.9% in SL). Both dorsal and ventral profile slightly 
curved. Mouth small, subterminal and crescentic, without 
any barbels. Eyes and scales moderate, eyes visible from 
ventral surface, snout smooth. Caudal peduncle slender. 
Dorsal fin inserted nearer caudal fin base than snout 
tip, its last simple ray osseous, serrated posteriorly, shorter 
than body depth. Pectoral fin inserted in a line vertical 
to the gill opening, does not reach anterior origin of 



132 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 




Fig. 2: Puntius omatus sp. nov. 



ventral fin and the latter does not reach anal opening. 
Caudal fin deeply forked. Lateral line with 5-21 pores. 
Scales on lateral line series 23-24. Predorsal scales 8 or 
9. Gill rakers 5+18, pharyngeal teeth low and weak, in 
three rows 2,3,5 - 5,3,2. Branchiostegal rays 3. 

Colour: Silvery, flanks sometimes shot with 
reddish tinge. Wide rounded dark band around caudal 
peduncle, middle portion of band darker and rounded. 
Dorsal fin orange, tipped with black and a few rows of 
streaks. Pectoral and pelvic fins dusky. Anal fin 
yellowish, caudal with a dark margin. The scales are 
edged with black in the dorsal part of the body. 

Distribution: India: Lokchao R., Moreh, Manipur. 

Etymology: This species is named after its 
ornamental band around the caudal peduncle. 

Remarks: The species is small, but attractive, and 
can be a popular aquarium fish. P. omatus sp. nov. is 
similar to P phutunio in having finely serrated and 
osseous last simple dorsal fin ray and in the absence of 
barbels. However, the new species is different in banding 
pattern, namely a single dark transverse band encircling 
the caudal peduncle (18-20th scale of lateral line) vs. 
four dark bands: first over pectoral, second from below 
dorsal spine, third from posterior end of dorsal and fourth 
across caudal peduncle. It also differs from P. phutunio 
in having a more slender caudal peduncle (depth of 
caudal peduncle 9. 9(8. 4-1 1 .5)% of SL vs. 16.2% of SL). 
P. omatus may have a complete or incomplete lateral 
line, whereas P. phutunio always has an incomplete 
lateral line. 

Puntius omatus differs from P cumingi in having 
a single band forming a ring around the caudal peduncle 
vs. two bands, lateral line series of 20-25 vs. 19-21, 
lateral transverse scale of AVJMl'A vs. V/i-MMV/i, 
circumpeduncular scales of 11-12 vs. 8-10, pre-anal 



scales of 1 8 vs. 1 0- 1 1 . It differs from P. gelius in having 
a single band vs. three bands, circumpeduncular scale 
of 1 1-12 vs. 6-8, pre-anal scales of 18 vs. 13, and pre- 
pelvic scales of 1 1 vs. 6. It greatly differs from P puntio, 
which also has a single band around the caudal peduncle, 
having an osseous, serrated last unbranched dorsal fin 
ray vs. weakly osseous and smooth last unbranched 
dorsal fin ray. It also differs from P. puntio in having a 
variably incomplete lateral line vs. a complete lateral 
line. Comparison of the new species with its related 
species is given in Table 2. 

Maximum SL: 42 mm. 

Comparative Material: Puntius phutunio, ZSI 
F 1 0929/ 1 , Rocky streams around Kamaing, Myitkyina 
district, Upper Burma, December 23-30, 1926, 
B. Chopra. 

Puntius chola (Hamilton-Buchanan) 

Cyprinus chola Hamilton-Buchanan, 1 822, Fish. 
Ganges : 3 12, 389 (type locality: North eastern part of 
Bengal) 

Material examined: MUMF 3020/2., 44.6- 
61.9 mm SL, Kharungpat, 2 1 .viii. 1 998, KBD; MUMF 
3021/1 ., 71.3 mm SL, Lokchao R„ Moreh, 24-26. iii. 1999, 
WV & party. 

Local Name: Phabou nga (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: A Puntius with a deep and 
compressed body. A single maxillary pair of barbels 
present. Last simple dorsal ray moderately strong and 
smooth. Lateral line complete with 24-28 scales. Scales 
from dorsal fin origin to lateral line 6 and those from 
lateral line to pelvic fin origin 4. Predorsal scales 11, 
circumpeduncular scales 14, pre-pelvic scales 1 1, pre- 
anal scales 19. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



133 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Colour: Body silvery, with olive green dorsally, a 
black blotch at the far end of the caudal peduncle 
between 21st and 23rd lateral line scales and another at 
the base of anterior dorsal fin ray. A dark blotch may or 
may not be present behind operculum. 

Distribution: India: Throughout; Bangladesh, 
Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal. 

Remarks: The bright colouration of this fish 
especially during breeding season gives good ornamental 
value. Vishwanath et al. (1998) reported it from 
Chatrickong river in Manipur for the first time. 

Puntius conchonius (Hamilton-Buchanan) 

Cyprinus conchonius Hamilton-Buchanan. Fish. 
Ganges'. 3 1 7, 389; Cuv. and Val. xvi, p. 394. 

Material examined: MUMF 3027/3., 44.6- 
47.8 mm SL, Barak R., 5 .vi i i . 1 999, KNS. 

Local name: Phabou nga (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: A Puntius with no barbels, incomplete 
lateral line, pores ending after 7-12 scales, 5 scales 
between origin of dorsal fin and lateral line and 4 
between lateral line and root of pelvic fin. Predorsal 
scales 8, circumpeduncular scales 12, pre-pelvic 
scales 12, pre-anal scales 18. Body comparatively deep 
(39.7-44.2% SL). Last simple dorsal ray osseous, mode- 
rately strong and serrated, its height less than head length. 

Colour: A big black blotch on the caudal peduncle 
and a faint one near the operculum, which may be 
absent. Fins yellow and red. Dorsal fin tipped with a 
black blotch. 

Distribution: india: Brahmaputra, Barak, Ganga, 
Mahanadi, Cauvery rivers. Pakistan: Punjab. 

Remarks: Very similar to P. stoliczkanus Day 
but differs in having incomplete lateral line and dorsal 
fin tipped with a black blotch. It is an ornamental fish 
commonly known as Rosy Barb. 

Puntius javanicus (Bleeker) 

Barbus gonionotus Bleeker, Verb. Bat. Gen. xiii. 
(1849) 1850, Ichth. Midden Oost -Java, p. 15. 

Material examined: MUMF 303 1/1 ., 191 .8 mm 
SL, cultivated species. 

Local name: Japan puthi (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: A medium sized Puntius with four 
barbels, complete lateral line with 30 pores. Scales from 
dorsal fin origin to lateral line 6 and from lateral line to 
pelvic fin origin 4, predorsal scales 1 1 , circumpeduncular 
scales 19, pre-pelvic scales 1 5, pre-anal scales 25, last 
unbranched dorsal ray strong, osseous and serrated. 
Depth of body high (40.3% SL). Anal and dorsal fins 
emarginate. 



Colour: Flanks are bright golden with a darker 
tinge dorsally. Fins reddish. 

Remarks: This moderately sized fish is an 
introduced species to Manipur. It is rarely sold in the 
market. Eschmeyer (1998) puts this species under 
Barbus Cuvier. 

Puntius jayarami Vishwanath & Tombi 

Puntius jayarami Vishwanath & Tombi, 1986. 
Rec. zool. Surv. India, 83 (1&2): 129, Fig. I (type 
locality: Chakpi stream, Chakpikarong, Manipur); 
Jayaram 1991, Rec. zool. Surv. India, Occ. Paper No. 
135: 124 (revision) 

Material examined: MUMF 3023/2., 82.9- 
92.7 mm SL, Lokchao R., Moreh, 24-26.iii.1999, WV 
and party. 

Local name: Heikak nga / Naphet nga. 

Diagnosis: A Puntius species with four barbels, 
complete lateral line with 28-30 pores, 5 scales from 
lateral line to origin of dorsal fin and 3 from lateral line 
to origin of pelvic fin. Predorsal scales 10, 
circumpeduncular scales 13-14, pre-pelvic scales 17, 
pre-anal scales 27, last unbranched dorsal ray osseous, 
strong and denticulate. Snout pointed. Eyes moderate. 

Colour: Silvery with reddish fins. 

Distribution: india: Manipur river, Manipur. 

Puntius manipurensis Menon, 

Rema Devi & Vishwanath 

Puntius manipurensis Menon, Rema Devi & 
Vishwanath 2000. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 97(2): 
263-268. 

Material examined: MUMF 3026/2., 38.8- 
45.4 mm SL., Manipur R„ 15.ix.1998, WV. MUMF 
3027/2., 3 1 . 1 -34.2 mm SL, Canchipur, 1 6.vii. 1 999, JL. 

Local name: Ngakha meingangbi (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: A Puntius with no barbels, incomplete 
lateral line. Perforated scales 3-5. 20 scales in lateral 
line series and 8 lateral transverse rows of scales. 
Predorsal scales 9, circumpeduncular scales 8, pre-pelvic 
scales 10, pre-anal scales 16, last unbranched dorsal 
ray osseous, serrated. 

Colour: Body dark silvery, with two black blotches, 
one at the 3 rd -4 th scale near the operculum and the other 
at the 17 th scale near the caudal peduncle; these are 
less distinct than in P. ticto. The fins and caudal peduncle 
scarlet red in colour; males are more brightly coloured. 
Their scales, especially on the dorsal part of body have 
black dots. Females exhibit a subdued pink on the body 
and fins. 

Distribution: india: Manipur valley. 



134 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Table 2: Morphometry and distribution of some banded Puntius species 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



TO 

3 

TO 

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TO ® 
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TO 

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seous 


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J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



135 



Distribution Sri Lanka India: West Bengal. India: Orissa, West Widely India: Lokchao R. India: Lokchao R. 

Burma (now Myanmar) Bengal, Assam distributed Manipur Manipur 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Remarks: Although not of much food value 
because of its small size, it holds a good prospect as an 
ornamental fish. In the breeding season, i.e. July-August, 
the males give chase to the female. 

Puntius orphoides (Valenciennes) 

Barbus orphoides Valenciennes, 1 842, Hist. nat. 
Poiss., 16 : 193 (type locality: Java) 

Materials examined: MUMF 3025/2., 77.9- 
78.0 mm, Lokchao R., Moreh, 24-26.iii.1999, WV and 
party. 

Local name: Nganoi/Ngahou (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: A Puntius species with four barbels, 
lateral line complete with 28-29 pores. Scales from 
dorsal fin origin to lateral line 6 and from lateral line to 
pelvic fin origin 4, predorsal scales 11-12, prepelvic 
scales 12-14. Last unbranched dorsal ray osseous, strong 
and serrated, circumpeduncular scales 14-16. Depth of 
body 33-36% of SL. Anal and dorsal fins not 
emarginated. 

Colour: Silvery with reddish fins. 

Distribution: india: Loktak lake, Imphal, Manipur. 
Borneo, Java, Malaya, Myanmar, Thailand. 

Remarks: Once reported to be plentiful in the 
central plain. At present very rare in the valley. A fish 
of good food value. 

Puntius sarana (Hamilton-Buchanan) 

Cyprinus sarana Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822, 
Fish. Ganges : 307 (type locality: ponds and rivers of 
Bengal). 

Materials examined: MUMF 3024/1., 195 mm, 
Jiri R., Jiribam, 1 9.ix. 1 998, WV and party. 

Local Name: Nganoi/Ngahou (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: Body deep and compressed, its depth 
34.2% of standard length. Barbels two pairs, rostral as 
long as orbit, maxillary longer. Dorsal fin inserted slightly 
ahead of the middle of the body. Dorsal spine osseous 
and finely serrated posteriorly. Lateral line complete with 
32 scales. 5 scales above lateral line row and 4 below 
it. Predorsal scales 9, circumpeduncular scales 1 6, pre- 
pelvic scales 19, pre-anal scales 27. 

Colour: Silvery white, olivaceous dorsally. Body 
with a golden reflection, cheeks golden. Fins dusky 
brown to orange. 

Distribution: Afghanistan. Pakistan. India: 
Ganga-Brahmaputra drainage, peninsular India north of 
Krishna river. 

Remarks: Found only in Barak drainage in 
Manipur. Eschmeyer ( 1 998) puts this species under genus 
Barbus Cuvier. 



Puntius sophore (Hamilton-Buchanan) 

Cyprinus sophore Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822, 
Fish. Ganges : 3 1 0, 389 (type locality: ponds and rivers 
of Gangetic Provinces) 

Material examined: MUMF 3021/1., 71.3 mm 
SL, Lokchao R, Moreh. 24-26. iii. 1999, WV & party. 

Local name: Phabou nga (Manipuri), Nga-khon- 
ma (Burmese) 

Diagnosis: This species has a relatively deep body, 
its dorsal profile more convex than ventral. Head short, 
mouth terminal. Dorsal fin inserted equidistant between 
tip of snout and base of caudal fin. Dorsal spine osseous 
and smooth, lateral line complete with 23-24 pores, 
4 scales above lateral line and 3 from lateral line to pelvic 
fin origin. Predorsal scales 8-10, circumpeduncular scales 
12, pre-pelvic scales 12, pre-anal scales 16-17, barbels 
absent. 

Colour: Silvery, back grey-green to brownish; 
flanks with a somewhat bluish lustre, underside white. 
A deep black round blotch at base of caudal fin between 
22 nd and 24 th scales and another at the base of anterior 
dorsal ray. 

Distribution: india: Chatrickong river, Manipur 
valley; Pakistan; Bangladesh; Myanmar; Yunnan. 

Remarks: Puntius sophore is very similar to 
P. chola but it can be easily distinguished from the latter 
as it has no barbels. The fish exhibits bright colouration 
with a reddish longitudinal band along the sides during 
the breeding season. It can be a good aquarium fish. 
Talwar and Jhingran (1991) reported that the fish 
matures at 7-8 cm in SL. The authors also reported that 
the species has medicinal value in Tamil Nadu. 
Vishwanath et al. (1998) reported it for the first time 
from Chatrickong and Lokchao rivers in Manipur. 

Puntius stoliczkanus (Day) 

Barbus mcClellandi Day, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1 869, 
p. 619 (not Cuv. and Val.) 

Barbus stoliczkanus Day, Journal Asiatic Soc. 
Bengal , 1871, pt. ii. p. 328. 

Material examined: MUMF 3018/4., 48.5- 
51.4 mm SL, Lokchao R., Moreh. 24-26.iii.1999, WV 
& party, MUMF 3019/2., 43.1-50.6 mm SL, Litan 
stream., WV. 

Local name: Phabou nga (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: A Puntius with no barbels, body 
comparatively deep, about 42% SL. Complete lateral 
line with 20-24 scales, 4 scales from lateral line to origin 
of dorsal and 4 from lateral line to anterior root of pelvic 
fin. Last unbranched dorsal ray osseous, serrated. A 
large spot at the caudal peduncle. 



136 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Colour: Body silvery, the spot at the caudal 
peduncle large and black. 

Distribution: india: Chindwin drainage, Manipur; 
MYANMAR: PutaO. 

Remarks: P stoliczkanus is reported from the 
state of Manipur and from India for the first time in this 
paper. 

Puntius ticto ticto (Hamilton-Buchanan) 

Cyprinus ticto ticto Hamilton-Buchanan, 1822, 
Fish. Ganges : 314, 398, pi. 8, fig. 87 (type locality: south- 
east part of Bengal). 

Material examined: MUMF 3030/1., 47.5 mm 
SL, Imphal valley, 1 9.viii. 1 998, JL. 

Local name: Ngakha (Manipuri). 

Diagnosis: This Puntius has a compressed body. 
Dorsal fin inserted nearer caudal fin base than the tip of 
the snout. Dorsal spine serrated posteriorly. Predorsal 
scales 1 0, circumpeduncular scales 1 1 , pre-pelvic scales 
1 4, pre-anal scales 20. Caudal fin forked. Barbels absent, 
lateral line incomplete. Perforated scales 7 anteriorly, 



26 scales in lateral series and 1 1 on lateral transverse 
rows. Two black blotches, one near gill opening and 
another at the posterior portion of anal fin base. The 
latter blotch is found further forward than in all other 
Puntius species having two blotches. Anterior spot is 
always present. 

Colour: Body silvery with two black blotches, one 
at the base of caudal fin and another at the edge of 
operculum. In freshly dead specimens, fins and flanks 
are reddish. The operculum is shot with golden red during 
the breeding season. 

Distribution: Widely distributed in India, 
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar. 

Remarks: Hora (1921) reported the fish to be the 
commonest Puntius in the Manipur Valley. Though small 
in size, it has high food value among the locals. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

The authors are grateful to the UGC-Special 
Assistance Programme and ICAR-NATP on freshwater 
fishes for financial assistance. 



REFER 

Eschmeyer, W.N. (1998): Catalog of Fishes'. Cal. Acad. Sci., California. 
2905 pp. 

Hora, S.L. (1921): Fish and fisheries of Manipur with some 
observations on those of the Naga Hills. Rec. Ind. Mus. 22(3): 
165-214. 

Jayaram, K.C. (1999): The freshwater fishes of Indian region. 

Narendra Publ. House, New Delhi. 551 pp. 

Menon, A.G.K. (1954): Further observations on the fish fauna of 
the Manipur State. Rec. Ind Mus. 52(1): 21-26. 

Menon, A.G.K., K. Rema Devi & W. Vishwanath (2000): A new 
species of cyprinid fish of the genus Puntius Hamilton- 
Buchanan from Manipur, India. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 



ENC E S 

97(2): 263-268. 

Menon, M.A.S. (1952): On a small collection offish from Manipur. 
Rec. Ind Mus. 50: 265-270. 

Talwar, P.K. & A.G. Jhingran ( 1991 ): Inland fishes of India and 
adjacent countries. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., 
New Delhi, 2 volumes: xix +1158. 

Vishwanath, W., W. Manojkumar, L. Kosygin & K.S. Selim (1998): 
Biodiversity of freshwater fishes of Manipur, India. Ital. J. 
Zool. 65, Suppl. : 321-324. 

Vishwanath, W. & H.T. Singh (1986): A new species of the genus 
Puntius (Hamilton-Buchanan) from Manipur. Rec. zool. Surv. 
India 83(1&2): 129-133. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



137 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



138-140 



A NEW NEMACHEILINE FISH OF THE GENUS SCHISTURA MCCLELLAND 
(CYPRJNIFORMES: BALITORIDAE) FROM MANIPUR, INDIA 1 

W. VlSHWANATH AND K. SHANTA 



'Accepted November, 2000 

department of Life Sciences, Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal 795 003, Manipur, India. 

Email: vnath _w@hotmail.com 

A new freshwater nemacheiline fish Schistura macrocephalus is described here based on 15 specimens 
collected from the Khuga river (Chindwin drainage) of Manipur, India. The species has a wide head and 
body with inflated cheeks and is distinct in having an adipose crest extending between dorsal and caudal 
fins, 8 branched dorsal fin rays, 15-16 dark transverse bars on body, incomplete lateral line. 

Key words: Nemacheiline fish, Schistura macrocephalus sp. nov., Manipur 



INTRODUCTION 

Manipur state, in the northeastern corner of India, 
has numerous hill streams, the central plain and eastern 
part drained by the Chindwin drainage, and the western 
part by the Brahmaputra drainage. The state, thus, has 
a rich loach fauna. Chaudhuri (1912) described 
Schistura manipurensis from Ukhrul district. Hora 
(1921) described S. kanjupkhulensis, S. prashadi, 
S. sikmaiensis from the state. Hora (1937) while writing 
on a small collection of fish from the upper Chindwin 
drainage reported the occurrence of S. vinciguerrae 
in the Namya river at Kongan Thana, Kabo or Shan 
village, Myanmar. However, the place is now within the 
boundary of Manipur, India. Menon (1987) also reported 
the occurrence of S. peguensis in the State. 

Khuga river originates in the hills of Churachandpur 
district of Manipur and flows northwards to join the 
Loktak Lake. A collection of fishes from the river 
included 1 5 specimens of Schistura , which do not fit 
into the hitherto described species of the genus. The 
fish is described here. Counts and measurements follow 
Kottelat (1990). Type specimens are deposited in the 
Manipur University Museum of Fishes (MUMF), Imphal, 
Manipur. 

Schistura macrocephalus sp. nov. 

(Figs 1-2) 

Material examined: Holotype: MUMF 5013, 
67.0 mm SL, Khuga R. in Churachandpur District, 
Manipur, 8.iv.2000. Coll. K. Shanta Devi. 

Paratypes: MUMF 5001-5008, 8 exs, 60.0- 
88.3 mm SL, Khuga R. in Churachandpur district, 
Manipur, 20.iii.2000. Coll. K. Shanta Devi. MUMF 5009- 
5014, 6 exs, 62-69 mm SL, collection data same as 
holotype. 



Diagnosis: A species with the following 
combination of characters: presence of adipose crest 
between dorsal and caudal fins, inflated cheeks and 
swollen anterior body part in males, upper lip without 
median incision, lower lip interrupted in the middle, 
presence of processus dentiformes, a median notch in 
lower jaw, branched dorsal fin rays 8, axillary pelvic 
lobe, incomplete lateral line. 

Description: D. iii, 8; A. iii, 5; C. 9+8; P. i, 8; V. 
i, 6. Body elongate. Body slightly compressed 
posteriorly. Head depressed, snout broadly rounded and 
blunt. Anterior nostrils pierced in the front side of a 
flaplike tube, lower lip interrupted in the middle, 
processus dentiformes present. A median notch in lower 
jaw. Cheeks greatly inflated in males. Axillary pelvic 
lobe present. Pelvic fin origin under last simple or first 
branched dorsal rays. Distal margins of dorsal fin 
convex. Caudal fin emarginate. Dorsal adipose crest 
extends from posterior extremity of dorsal fin base to 
caudal origin. Lateral line incomplete, reaching at 
least to anal fin base. In males, it lies in thick skin, making 
it difficult to locate. Females have a distinct lateral 
line. 

Sexual dimorphism: Male specimens have 
swollen anterior body, triangular head with greatly 
inflated cheeks. Lateral line indistinct due to thick 
skin. 

Colour: Body with 15-16 dark bars on a dull 
brown background. Bars faintly marked regularly. Bars 
in front of dorsal fin conspicuously thinner than those 
behind, usually united in pairs at their upper extremity 
and less well marked, the bars are wider than interspaces 
and are well marked behind dorsal fin. Black bar at the 
base of caudal fin. Head brown, lighter on ventral 
surface. Black spot at base of simple rays to second 
branched dorsal rays, and second dark blotch at base of 
branched rays 2-8. 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 




Fig. 1: Schistura macrocephalus sp. nov. (female) 




Table 1 : Comparison of Morphometric Characters of Schistura macrocephalus sp. nov. with 
Schistura altichsta (as % of SL, except TL and SL) 





Schistura macrocephalus sp. nov. 




Schistura alticrista 






mean 


range 


S.D. 


mean 


range 


S.D. 


Standard length 




55 0-88.3 






46.8-70.9 




Total length 


119.0 


117.6-123.9 


1.62 


119.2 


117 8-120.7 


1.33 


Dorsal head length 


20.2 


16.9-25.4 


2.15 


22.2 


22 0-22 7 


0.33 


Lateral head length 


24.0 


20.3-27 4 


2 20 


25.2 


25 0-25.4 


0.99 


Predorsal length 


52.2 


50.0-55.8 


1.48 


51.8 


50.9-52.4 


0.61 


Prepelvic length 


55.6 


53.3-58.5 


1.63 


52.6 


51.3-54.5 


1.38 


Pre-anus length 


73.3 


69 3-58.5 


1.66 


71.8 


70.5-72.6 


0.91 


Preanal length 


79.3 


76.9-82.3 


1.65 


76.2 


74.7-77 1 


1.07 


Head depth (at eye) 


12.4 


10.2-13.4 


1.11 


11.0 


9.8-11.8 


0.85 


Head depth (at nape) 


13.5 


11.2-14.7 


1.09 


12.6 


12.3-13.1 


0.36 


Body depth 


17.9 


15.8-20.9 


1.77 


18.3 


17.6-18.8 


0.48 


Depth of caudal peduncle 


15.0 


13.3-16.1 


0.85 


16.2 


15.0-17.7 


1.12 


Length of caudal peduncle 


13.1 


10.9-14.6 


1.11 


14.4 


13.9-15.0 


0.45 


Snout length 


10.4 


8.6-11.7 


1.01 


10.9 


10.3-11.4 


0.48 


Head width (at nares) 


13.6 


10.4-17.7 


2.17 


10.8 


9.2-11.6 


1.13 


Maximum head width 


18.5 


15.0-21.6 


1.92 


16.2 


14.5-17.3 


1.22 


Body width (at dorsal origin) 


17.5 


15.5-20.2 


1.75 


11.6 


11.3-12.1 


0.39 


Body width (at anal origin) 


13.1 


10.1-18 4 


2.04 


6.8 


6.2-7. 5 


0.51 


Eye diameter 


3.9 


3. 1-4.8 


0.50 


4.5 


4.2-4. 7 


0.18 


Interorbital width 


6.9 


5.6-8. 3 


0.88 


5.2 


4.3-5 7 


0.64 


Height of dorsal fin 


17.4 


13.2-19.3 


2.31 


15.2 


13.4-18.2 


2.11 


Length of upper caudal lobe 


19.5 


17.6-22 5 


1.38 


20.4 


19.0-21 1 


0.95 


Length of lower caudal lobe 


19.5 


17.6-22.5 


1.38 


21.8 


19.9-22.9 


1.33 


Length of median caudal rays 


15.2 


12.9-18.3 


1.37 


15.2 


14 8-16.0 


0.55 


Depth of anal fin 


13.8 


11.0-16.6 


1.38 


17.6 


16.8-18.4 


0 65 


Length of pelvic fin 


15.1 


13.4-16.9 


1.07 


17.2 


16.8-17 7 


0.41 


Length of pectoral fin 


16.2 


13.4-18.3 


1.30 


20.0 


19.2-20.5 


0.61 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



139 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 



Distribution: India: Khuga river (Chindwin basin), 
Manipur. 

Etymology: The species name is based on its large 
and broad head. 

DISCUSSION 

The species is similar to Schisturci alticrista 
Kottelat ( 1 990) from Nam Mae Yunnan basin, a tributary 
of Salween river in Thailand, in having adipose crest 
between dorsal and caudal fins. The new species, 
however, can be easily distinguished from S. alticrista 
in having fewer branched dorsal fin rays (8 vs. 9 'A); 



greater number of dark transverse bars on body (15-16 
vs. 8-9); wider body [body width at dorsal origin 17.5 
( 1 5.5-20.2)% vs. 1 1 .6 ( 1 1 .3-1 2. 1 )% of SL; body width 
at anal origin 13.1(10.1-18.4%) vs. 6.8(6.2-7.5)% of 
SL], 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

We are grateful to the Indian Council of 
Agricultural Research, New Delhi for financial 
assistance through NATP - Germplasm Inventory, 
Evaluation and Gene Banking of Freshwater Fishes in 
Mission Mode Project. 



REFER 

Chaudhuri, B.L. (1912): Description of some new species of 
freshwater fishes from North India. Rec. Indian Mus. 7: 437- 
444. pis. 38-41. 

Hora, S.L. (1921): Fish and Fisheries of Manipur with some 
observations on those of Naga Hills. Rec. Indian Mus. 22: 
166-214, pis. 38-41. 

Hora, S.L. (1937): Notes on the fishes of Indian Museum, 332. On 
a small collection offish from the Upper Chindwin drainage. 



ENCES 

Rec. Indian Mus . : 39: 33 1 -350. 

Kottelat, M. (1990): Indochinese nemacheilines, a revision of 
nemacheiline loaches (Pisces: Cypriniformes) of Thailand, 
Burma, Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam. Verlag 
Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munchen, Germany, 262 pp. 

Menon, A.G.K. (1987): The Fauna of India and adjacent countries, 
Pisces, IV. Teleostei Cobitoidea, Part 1, Homalopteridae. 
Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, 259 pp, 16 pis. 



140 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



141-143 



CEROPEGIA ANANTII (ASCLEPIADACEAE), A NEW SPECIES 
FROM WESTERN GHATS, INDIA 1 

S.R. Yadav, M.M. Sardesai and S.P. Gaikwad 2 

'Accepted March, 20(31 

department of Botany. Shivaji University, Kolhapur 416 004, Maharashtra, India. 

Email: sryadavdu@rediffmail.com, sardesaimm@rediffmail.com, sayajig@yahoo.com 

Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and Gaikwad sp. nov., discovered from Salva Hill in Western Ghats 
(Sindhudurg District, Maharashtra State), is described with illustrations. 

Key words: Ceropegia anantii , new species, Asclepiadaceae, Western Ghats 



The genus Ceropegia L. (Asclepiadaceae) is 
represented in India by about 48 species (Jagtap and 
Singh 1999) of which 28 are endemic to the country 
(Ansari 1984; Ahmedullah andNayar 1 986; Jagtap and 
Singh 1999). Western Ghats is an important centre for 
diversification of Ceropegia and harbours about 
35 species of which 22 are endemic to the region (Yadav 
1996). The majority of the endemic species are 
restricted to small areas and some of them are known 
only from their type localities. Many of them are on the 
way to extinction. An interesting species of Ceropegia 
allied to C. attenuata L. was collected from Salva Hills 
in September 1998, which is described and illustrated 
here. 

Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and 
Gaikwad sp. nov. 

Ceropegia attenuata proxime affinis sed corollae 
lobo ad basim utrinque atro-brunneus maculatus, corolla 
tubo anguste, ad basim abrupte ampliata et lucis 
fenestrum distincte differt. Typus: India, Maharashtra, 
ditionis Sindhudurg, Collinum Salva, Yadav-495A 
(Holotypus CAL), Yadav-495B (Isotypus K), Yadav- 
495C (Isotypus BSI), Yadav-495D (Isotypus Blatt.), 
Yadav-495E (Isotypus SUK). 

Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and Gaikwad 
sp. nov. is closely allied to C. attenuata L. but differs 
in having a dark brown spot on basal portion on either 
side of corolla lobe, narrow corolla tube with abruptly 
dilated basal part and distinctive light windows 
(Table 1). 

Type: India, Maharashtra State, Sindhudurg 
district, Salva Hills, Yadav-495A (Holotype CAL), 
Yadav-495B (Isotype K), Yadav-495C (Isotype BSI), 
Yadav-495D (Isotype Blatt.), Yadav-495E (Isotype 
SUK). 

Perennial erect herb. Rootstock tuberous, tubers 
2-3 cm in diameter, depressed, roots fibrous. Stem 



sparingly hairy, terete, usually unbranched, 1 5-40 cm in 
height, 1-2 mm in diameter. Leaves opposite, subsessile, 
minutely puberulous, linear, 4-8 x 0.3-0. 5 cm, acute at 
apex, tapering at base, scabrous on upper surface, 
glabrous on lower surface except the midrib, margins 
minutely hairy. Flowers solitary, axillary or extra axillary; 
pedicel 4-6 x 0.6-0. 8 mm, pubescent; bracts solitary, 
attached a little above the middle of pedicel, linear, 
2. 3-2. 6 x 0.3-0. 4 mm, acute. Sepals 5-7 x 0.7-0. 8 mm, 
linear, subacute, pubescent. Corolla 4-6.5 cm long, 
straight, greenish-yellow; corolla tube 1-2.5 cm long, 
abruptly dilated at the base, glabrous, greenish outside, 
the lower inflated portion dark purple in throat and 
striated with purple lines in lower portion; corolla lobes 
up to 1 .3-3.5 cm long, connate at tips, forming a long 
beak, greenish-white, pubescent inside, each lobe with 
dark spot on either side in basal part of corolla lobe. 
Gynostegial corona cupular, consisting of 5 deeply bifid 
lobes, densely ciliate on the margins; staminal corona 
of 5 linear lobes, connivent, erect, 4-5 mm long. Pollen 
masses yellow, attached to the brown pollen carriers 
by short caudicles, each pollinarium 0.3-0.35 x 0.2- 
0.25 mm. Follicles single or double, up to 6-7 x 0.2- 
0.25 cm, straight, tapering to a fine point, erect. Seeds 
4x1.5 mm, ovate, oblong; coma 1-1.5 cm long, white, 
silky. 

FI. & Fr.: August-November. 

Local Name: Ghayal. 

Distribution: Restricted to flat tops of Salva 
Hills in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra State. 
About 300 individuals were located in September 
1998. 

Etymology: The species is named after Prof. 
Anant R. Kulkami, Mumbai for his valuable contribution 
to botany, especially angiosperm systematics. 

Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and Gaikwad 
sp. nov. is closely allied to C. attenuata L. but differs in 
the following characters (Figs 1-2): 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 




Fig. 1: Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and Gaikwad sp. nov., a. Habit, b. Flower, 
c. L.S. of flower showing light windows, d. Corona, e. Pollinanum, f. Follicles, g. Seed with coma 



Table 1 : Differences in characters in Ceropegia anantii and Ceropegia attenuata 



S. No. Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and Ceropegia attenuata L. 

Gaikwad sp. nov. 



1. Grows on plateaus at higher altitudes 

2. Leaves narrowly linear 

3. Narrow corolla tube abruptly dilated at base 

4. Dilated corolla tube with brown rim in upper portion 
Corolla tube with dark brown spot on basal portion 
on either side of corolla lobe 

Corolla lobes cohering from base to apex 



Grows on coastal plains of lateritic plateaus at lower altitudes 

Leaves linear to lanceolate 

Corolla tube gradually dilated at base 

Dilated corolla tube without brown rim in upper portion 

Corolla tube without dark brown spots 

Corolla lobes free except at apex 



142 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 




Fig. 2: Ceropegia anantii Yadav, Sardesai and Gaikwad sp. nov., 

1. Flowers, 2. L.S. of flower showing light windows; 

Ceropegia attenuata Hook., 3. Flower, 4. L.S. of flower showing light windows 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS diagnosis, the Head, Department of Botany for 

laboratory facilities, Mr. Girish Potdar for illustrations 
We thank Dr. M.K. Vasudeva Rao, Botanical and Department of Science and Technology for financial 

Survey of India, Western Circle, Pune for Latin assistance. 

REFERENCES 

Ahmedullah, M. & M.P. Nayar (1986): Endemic plants of Indian region. Vol. I, Peninsular India. Botanical Survey of India. 
Pp. 1-261. 

Ansari, M.Y. (1984): Asclepiadaceae: Genus Ceropegia L. Fascicles of Flora of India 16: 1-34. 

Jagtap, A.P. & N.P. Singh (1999): Asclepiadaceae & Periplocaceae. Fascicles of Flora of India 24. 

Yadav, S.R (1996): Flytrap flowers of the Western Ghats. Hornbill (I): 2-7 . 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



143 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



144-148 



REVIEWS 

1 . FLORA OF THE DISTRICT GARHWAL, NORTHWEST HIMALAYA (WITH 
ETHNOBOTANICAL NOTES) By R.D. Gaur. Pp. xvi + 8 1 1 (28 x 21 .5 cm). Published by 
TransMedia, Srinagar (Garhwal), India, 1999. Price Rs. 1600/- ($ 100). 



This is a valuable book on flowering plants of the 
Garhwal Himalaya written by an expert. The book 
includes 2,035 species belonging to 978 genera and 1 89 
families, one of them being described for the first time. 
The book is based on the classification proposed by 
Cronquist, with a few modifications, in contrast to most 
of our Indian Floras that are based on Bentham and 
Hooker's classification, according to which the major 
herbaria in India are arranged. It contains keys to 
families, genera and species, and under the text of each 
species mentions: 1. The correct name of the species 
with the basionym and important synonyms, 2. Common 
names, 3. Short descriptions, 4. Phenology, 5. Relative 
abundance, 6. Range of Distribution, 7. Number of 
voucher specimen deposited in the Garhwal University 
Herbarium and 8. Ethnobotanical uses. 

The introduction gives 1 . Geographic features, 

2. Climate, 3. Inhabitants: People and wildlife, 
4. Vegetation analysis, 5. Cultigens and aliens, 
6. Dynamics of vegetation, 7. List of rare and threatened 
plants, 8. Short history of previous explorations, 
9. Methodology and 10. Statistical analysis of the Flora. 

This is a very useful study as the only other work 
on this region is the flora of chamoli by B.D. Naithani 
(Vols I & II, 1984-85). However, like the earlier work, 
this volume also has no illustrations. 

In the list of 164 rare and 47 endangered species 
are listed 16 rare plants, which are not so rare in 
other parts of the country, and four of the species listed 
as endangered are found in abundance in southern 
India. 



The floristic analysis mentions 1 0 dominant families, 
of which Poaceae (78 spp.), Asteraceae (73 spp.), 
Leguininosae (72 spp.), Lamiaceae (33 spp.), 
Orchidaceae (28 spp.), and Rubiaceae (25 spp.) are 
noteworthy. 

The author has updated the nomenclature, as far 
as possible, as per the ICBN rules. However, a fresh 
look at the following nomenclatural cases and some 
explanations are warranted (see Table). 

I would also like to make the following comments: 

1. Tinospora cordifolia ( Wi lid.) Hook. f. & 
Thoms.: The correct name for this species is T. glabra 
(Burm. f.) Merrill. 

2. Cannabis sativa Linn.: The high alkaloid 
containing Indian plant is considered as the subspecies 
indica in comparison with the fibre-yielding non- 
alkaloidal typical subspecies of the West. 

3. Cardamine scutata Thunb. ssp. flexuosa 
(Withering) Hara: Hara’s varietal name seems to have 
priority over Withering’s and the name of the author in 
parenthesis may be an error. 

4. Moringa oleifera Lamk. is nomen illegitimatum 
on account of its carrying an earl ier synonym when it was 
first published, making the name applicable to that taxon. 

5. Symplocos cochinchinensis ssp. laurina 
(Retz.) Nooteboom var. laurina : Nomenclature of this 
taxon has been mauled and muddled. Myrtus laurinus 
Retz. (1789) cited in synonymy has priority over Dicalyx 
cochinchinensis Lour. ( 1 790) and therefore the specific 
epithet laurina cannot be reduced to an infraspecific 
taxon under cochinchinensis. 



Page Name accepted 



Prior name available 



101 



Parietaria micrantha Ledeb. (1829) 

Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus (1835) 

Alternanthera pungens H.B.K. (1817) 

Persicaria tenella (Bl.) Hara var. kavagoeana (Makino) Hara 
Grewia optiva Drum, ex Burret (1926) 

Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. ssp. tetraphyllus (Roxb.) Borss. 
Casearia elliptica Willd (1800) 

Lagerstroemia reginae Roxb. (1795) 

Hydrocortyle nepalensis Hook. (1823) 

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch.-Ham) Wall. 

(Based on name of 1821) 

Eusteralis cruciata (Benth.) Panigrahi (Based on name of 1830). 



P debilis Forst. f. (1786) 

Q. incana Roxb. (1832) 

A. repens (L.) Link 

(Based on Achyranthes repens L. 1753) 
Polygonum tenella Bl. (1825) 

G. oppositifolia Buch.-Ham. (1825) 
Hibiscus manihot Linn. (1753) 

Anavigna lanceolata Lamk. (1783) 

L. speciosa (L.) Pers. 

H. javanica Thunb. (1798) 

Echites antidysenterica Roxb. ex 
Fleming (1810) 

Mentha quadnfolia D. Don (1825) 



REVIEWS 



6. Brassica rapa L. ssp. campestris (L.) 
Clapham.: If B. rapa L. and B. campestris L. are 
considered distinct at sub-species level, then 
B. campestris L. ssp. rapa Hook.f & Anders (1872) 
has priority over B. rapa L. ssp. campestris (L.) 
Clapham (1962). 

7. Embelia tsjarium-cottam (R. & S.) A. DC. is nomen 
dubium, wh ich is not properly typified yet and may belong to 
some other plant. The correct name for the species known 
under this name is E. basal (R. & S.) A. DC. (see Almeida, 
FI. Maharashtra, Vol. 3). 

8. Balliospermum montanum ( Willd.) Muell.-Arg. 
has been changed to B. solanifolium (Burm.f.) Suresh 
(see Nicolson et al.. Interpret. Hort. Mai. R 1988). 

9. The species known as Bridelia retnsa (L.) Spr. 
in our Indian Floras is now called B. airy-shawii , for 
which the correct name may be B. spinosa Willd. 

10. Correct name for Buchanania lanzen Spr. is 
B. cochinchinensis (Lour.) Almeida (see FI. 
Maharashtra, Vol. 1). 

11. Correct name for Coleus forskohlii (Willd.) 
Briquet is Solenocarpus barbatus (Andr.) Codd. 
Solenopteris Thonn. is the earliest generic name for 
Coleus Lour., if treated as a separate genus from 
Plectranthus L’Herit. 

12. Nomenclature of Artemisia nilagirica var. 
septentrionalis (Clarke) Panigrahi has been confused 



by adding A. vulgaris var. nilagirica Clarke to its 
synonymy. 

13. Amorphophallus paeoniifolius Nicolson is 
not synonymous with A. campanulatus Blume ex Decne 
as presumed initially by Nicolson. Sivadasan later 
reduced A. campanulatus Blume to the varietal rank 
under A. paeoniifolius (Dennst.) Nicolson, which also 
remains doubtful. 

14. Rechecking is required for the nomenclature 
of Arisaema tortuosum (Wall.) Schott and its variety 
curvatum (Roxb.) Engler. From the synonyms cited, it 
appears that what is referred to as variety curvatum 
may be a typical variety and that which is referred to as 
A. tortuosum var. tortuosum may have to be correctly 
called A. tortuosum var. helleborifolium (Schott.) 
Engler as done by Nair ( 1 978). 

15. The correct generic name for Indocourtosia 
Bennet & Raizada is Courtosinia Sojak and that for 
Indocourtosia cyperoides (Roxb) Bennet & Raizada 
is Courtosinia cyperoides (Roxb.) comb. nov. 

Regarding the price of the book, I would only like 
to state that a book that is priced at more than a rupee 
per page of printed matter is over-priced, unless it is 
illustrated with colour photographs, which naturally 
increases the cost of printing. 

M.R. ALMEIDA 



2. THE FLORA OF THE PALNI HILLS (in 3 parts): Pt I (Polypetalae) pp. xcvi + 1-576; 
Pt II (Gamopetalae and Monochlamydae) pp. iii + 576-1196; Pt III (Monocotyledones) 
pp. iii + 1197-1880 (26 x 20 cm) by K.M. Matthew. Published for Rapinat Herbarium at 
SCTP Offset Press, Christianpet, Vellore, India, 1 999. Price (set of 3) Rs. 600/ £ 1 00/ $ 1 75. 



This Flora, consisting of three parts, is the second 
phase covering the montane counterpart of flora of 
tamilnadu, the first phase being flora of tamilnadu 
carnatic, covering the lowlands. The total work done 
over a quarter of a century from 1976 to 1999, has 
resulted in the publication of twelve volumes. This Flora 
describes about 2,500 species based on about 15,000 
fresh herbarium collections spread over 323 days of 
fieldwork. 

In the third part of this Flora, the author has taken 
the help of two other taxonomists to revise some families, 
namely Gunnar Seidenfaden for Orchidaceae and K.T. 
Mathew for Juncaceae, Eriocaulaceae, Cyperaceae, 
Graminae and Gymnospermae. 

Rev. Fr. K.M. Matthew, after trying his hand at 
revision of Family Cornaceae for flora malesiana with 
a ZWO fellowship from the Dutch Government at The 
Rijksherbarium, Leiden, Netherlands, returned to India 
in 1974 and prepared a scheme for the revision of the 



comprehensive illustrated flora of Tamil nadu. Since 
then, he has collected more than 50,000 herbarium 
specimens. When he started the work on flora of 
Tamil nadu carnatic, Fr. Mathew felt that the days of 
general plant collection were over and the era of 
monographic work had begun. But over a period of time, 
he has not only begun to believe in the value of fresh 
collections, but is proud of his freshly collected 
herbarium. He admits that he has rightly opted for floristic 
work, leaving the monographic, which some of his 
colleagues at Leiden wanted him to pursue. One thing 
is certain, Rev. Fr Matthew has shown that with 
dedication you can accomplish much, despite limited 
assistance. 

However, at the conclusion of flora of palni hills, 
his achievements are one new combination 
Chamaecrista kleinii (Hook.f.) K.M. Matthew at 
species level and two new combinations at the 
intraspecific level, namely Commiphora caudata (Wt. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. ( 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



145 



REVIEWS 



& Arn.) Engler var. pubescens (Wt. & Arn.) K.M. 
Matthew and Solatium violaceum Ortega ssp. 
multiflorum (C.B. Clarke) Matthew. He depends too 
much on the opinions of other experts and cannot form 
an independent opinion, and that is why he has left the 
identities of many taxa undecided, although he has come 
close to identification of their allies. 

The text of the Flora, after keys to families 
(according to Bentham and Hooker’s system of 
classification), genera and species, is in the following 
format: 

1. Correct botanical name of the species, 
followed by basionym and synonyms, 
followed by local and English names. 

2. Description of species. 

3. Distribution and altitudes of occurrence. 

4. Phenology. 

5. Phytogeography. 

6. Exsiccata. 

7. Conservation notes. 

The following appendices appear at the end of Part III: 

I. Cultivated species of the Palni hills. 

II. Field itineraries on Palni hills. 

III. Alphabetical list of books referred to in the 
Flora. 

IV. Alphabetical list of periodicals referred to in 
the Flora 

V. Journals in the herbarium (RHT) library. 

VI. Germination data of native species (255 
spp.). 

Appendix VI may be the most attractive among 
the Appendices. I wonder if Appendices III and IV are 
lists of the books and periodicals referred to, or books 
and periodicals cited in the Volume. 

In many cases, however, all the heads mentioned 
above are not strictly adhered to. In Part I, for example, 
there are 788 species. Of these, 143 have no data on 
phenology. Plants not described number 257, and many 
have merely one or two lines of description (probably 
because they have been described in flora of Tamil 
nadu carnatic earlier, for which the reference is given, 
making it mandatory to have that Flora at hand while 
usingthis one). 

Many species are included based on Anglande’s 
unedited drawings, which are cited in references. Such 
species are not described. There is no evidence that the 
figures Anglande made are from plants collected from 
Palni hills or brought from other localities. Examples of 
such plates are Lonicera caprifolium L. (t. 281), 
Lonicera etruca Santi (t. 282), and Lonicera 
:■ ’riclymemim L. (t. 286). 

The following species are based on specimens at 

146 



Kew and other places, not on recent collections, and 
one would believe that Matthew has extensively 
surveyed the area, and they are presumably locally 
extinct: 

1 . Lasianthgus stigilobus Hook. 

2. Blumea hieracifolia var. macrostachya (DC.) 
Hook.f. 

3. Carpesium cernuum L. 

4. Pratia nummularia (Lamk.) Braun & Aschers 

5. Rhododendron policum L. 

6. Tylophora macrantha Hook.f 

7. Tylophora pauciflora W. & A. 

8. Argyreia pilosa Arn. 

9. Barleria longifolia L. 

10. Acrocephalus palniensis Mukherjee 

11. Etnex spinosus (L.) Compel. 

12. Dendrophthoe memecylifolia (W. & A.) Danser 

13. Delechampia indica Wt. 

14. Eriocaulon melaleucum Mart. 

15. Cyperus elatus L. 

16. Fimbristylis bisumbellata (Forsk.) Bubani 

17. Fimbristylis eragrostis (Nees) Hance 

18. Fimbristylis squarrosa Vahl 

19. Liphocarpha sphacellata (Vahl) Kunth 

20. Mariscus cyperoides A. Dietr. 

As mentioned earlier, Matthew relies heavily on 
help from other botanists without verifying the 
nomenclature himself and following his own judgement. 

I would cite an example here of Tylophora tetrapetala 
(Dennst.) Suresh in Nicolson et al., which is a wrong 
and illegitimate name. Many Indian works, which have 
brought nomenclatural changes as per ICBN rules are 
not noticed or neglected. For example, Ramamurthy (in 
FI. Hassan Dist. p. 340, 1976) equates Excoecaria 
robusta Hook.f with E. crenulata Wight, which is 
overlooked in the Flora. In the note under Drypetes 
roxburghii (Wall.) Hurusawa, Dr. Matthew states, “The 
case of retaining this species under the genus 
Putranjiva (Etym.: Life of the son), owing to its fertility 
properties, is strong.” This note was uncalled for. 
Matthew accepted Bowles and Steam’s reduction of 
Atragene japonica Thunb. (1784) to a varietal rank 
under Anemone hupehensis Lemoire ex Boynton 
(1931), without explaining why Thunberg’s prior name 
could not be accepted as Anemone japonica (Thunb.) 
Almeida (comb. nov.). Hibiscus furcatus Willd. (1809) 
has been placed in synonymy of Hibiscus hispidissimus 
Griffith ( 1 854) without assigning any reason. In Pinaceae, 
in Gymnospermae, which has been revised by both 
K.M. Matthew and K.T. Mathew following two 
synonyms, as per citations, seem to have come from 
the same publication. Which one of them has come from 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



REVIEWS 



the reference cited I leave to the readers to find out: 

Pinus kesia Royle ex Gordon in Loudon, Gard. 
Mag. (London) 16: 8, 1840. 

Pinus khasya Royle, Gard. Mag. (London) 16: 8, 

1840. 

K.T. Mathew seems to be not in the habit of citing 
basionyms and synonyms if he can avoid them. One 
has the feeling that he is sure about his accepted name 
and does not think there is any scope for further 
nomenclatural correction. However, in the few places 
where he has cited the synonyms he is in troubled 
waters, as in the case of Scirpus quinquangularis 
Vahl, Cyperus uniloides R. Br. and Scirpus 
michelianus Linn. Under Carex lindleyana Nees ex 
Wt. ( 1 834) he has given two more varieties. Additional 
varieties are provided with segregating key, while the 
typical variety has been left out. It appears from the 
exsiccata cited under typical and the note at the end of 
infraspecific taxa that the typical variety is a distinct 
variety from the other two and it cannot be fitted in the 
key given to the other two. 

As already mentioned, Orchidaceae has been 
revised by Gunnar Seidenfaden. I am surprised to find 
some confusion in nomenclature in his part of the work 
too. Under Br achy cory this iantha (Wt.) Summerh. 
(which is based on Platanthera iantha Wt. (1851) there 
are three names highlighted in bold type in the synonymy 
along with Platanthera obcordata Lindl. (Gen. & Sp. 
Orchid. PI. 290, 1 835). If we consider the bold lettered 
synonyms a typographical error, the correct name for 
this species should be Brachycorythis obcordata 
(Lindl.) comb. nov. which I propose here. At the end of 
the test of this species, Seidenfaden mentions the type 
(of the species?) as specimens from Nilgiris (Wight, s.n., 
K, BM). I believe that types pertain to a name and not 
to a species. There has to be a type for each name. If 
there are five heterotypic synonyms there should be five 
different types. Platanthera iantha must have a type. 
If there are two specimens of this species, one at 



Kew (K) and another at the British Museum (BM), one 
of them can be a Holotype (or Lectotype) and other 
may be called Isotype or Paratype (or Syntype). Similarly, 
Platanthera affinis Wt. must have a separate type; 
P. ga/eandra Rech.f must have yet another type and 
Platanthera obcordata Lindl. may be typified by 
Wallich Cat. no. 7050A or 7050B and Habenaria 
galeandra Benth. var. nilagirica Hook.f must have a 
different type. 

Under Peristylis exilis Wight, Seidenfaden cites 
contrasting synonyms as mentioned below: 

Habenaria aristata (Lindl.) Hook.f. 

Peristylis aristatus auct. non Lindl. 

Seidenfaden also accepts Habenaria virens 
(Lindl.) Hunt & Summerhayes when there is an existing 
homonym by Abywickrama. His argument that Hunt 
and Summerhayes did not mention Habenaria virens 
(Lindl.) Abyw. (1959), possibly because Abywickrama’s 
transfer was considered invalid due to wrong citation of 
basionym, is not appropriate in this case because the 
later homonym of Hunt and Summerhayes cannot be 
validated as per ICBN rules. The name Seidenfia 
rheedii (Sw.) Szlachetko is based on Malaxis rheedii 
Sw., which is supposed to have included Epidendrum 
resupinaturn in the synonymy which renders Swarfs 
name illegitimate. Therefore, the next available valid name 
for this species is Microstylis versicolor Lindl. (Gen. 
& Sp. Orchid. PL 21, 1830) and the correct name for 
this species should be Seidenfia versicolor (Lindl.) 
Almeida (comb. nov.). 

The price of the book Rs. 600 is at least half the 
market value today (not quarter as claimed by author). 
I congratulate Rev. Fr. Matthew for successfully 
completing his plan and compliment him for undertaking 
the publishing work and providing his Floras to 
researchers and scientific communities at such low 
rates. 

M.R. ALMEIDA 



3. MEDICINAL PLANTS IN ANDHRA PRADESH (INDIA) by T. Pullaiah. Pp. iii + 262 
(23.0 x 15.5 cm). Published by Regency Publishers (20/36 - G, Old Market, West Patel 
Nagar, New Delhi 1 1 0 008). Price Rs. 700/-. 



This book lists 409 species of medicinal plants 
found in Andhra Pradesh, arranged in alphabetical order 
of scientific plant names. The author’s un-named and 
undated preface mainly describes the location of Andhra 
Pradesh, with three lines of explanation regarding the 
arrangement of entries of the species in the book and 
acknowledgement of the author to his wife for help in 
preparation of the manuscript. It gives 121 line drawings 



of species listed and 14 plates consisting of 68 coloured 
photographs of medicinal plants. The text gives accepted 
names of species (occasionally with a few synonyms), 
family to which the species belongs, short description 
(3-5 lines), occurrence and distribution, flowering and 
fruiting seasons, propagation by seed or cuttings, and 
medicinal uses, which are reproduced from earlier 
published literature. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



147 



REVIEWS 



The book cites 17 bibliographic references, 
followed by 12 names of companies dealing in the 
medicinal plant trade. One of them, Nicolas Piramal India 
Ltd, denied the statement when contacted by the 
reviewer for confirmation. Many of the plant names in 
the book are outdated and the book has several wrong 
names of medicinal plants based on wrong identification. 

One species has been listed under two different 
synonyms, Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold (p. 66) and 
under Thevetia peruviana (L.) Merr. (p. 238). The 
description and uses mentioned under the conspecific 
names are quite different. 

Under Embelia tsjarium-cottam DC. the medicinal 
uses mentioned are similar to Embelia ribes and the seeds 
are used as substitute for that species. This is certainly a 
wrong and confused statement. It has been now 
conclusively shown that the plant so far known as Embelia 
tsjarium-cottam is actually Embelia basaal (R. & S.) A. 
DC. and the seeds of this species are sold under the name 
E. ribes. It is yet to be confirmed that seeds of E. ribes 
Burm.f. also contain Embelin, an antihelminthic principle 
found in Embelia basaal (R. & S.) A. DC. 



Indigofera tinctoria L. and I. sumatrana Gaertn. 
have been equated. However, the two plants are 
believed to be distinct species, /. sumatrana Gaertn. 
contains a toxic compound that causes itching and 
irritation when handled with bare hands while isolating 
blue dye. 

Under Moringa pterigosperma Gaertn. after 
Moringa o/eifera, auct. non Lamk. is cited. Actually 
M. oleifera Lamk. is an illegitimate synonym of 
M. pterygosperma Gaertn. The name is illegitimate 
because Lamark, in the original publication, cited 
another binomial under his name making the name 
applicable to a different species cited by him under the 
new name. 

The book does not have indexes, and plants 
known by their synonyms cannot be located. It has 
line drawings and a few photographs of plants, 
but is not comparable in text and price with the 
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, which gives 
well documented information and is much cheaper. 

M.R. ALMEIDA 



4. MEDICINAL PLANTS IN INDIA. Vols. I & II. by T. Pullaiah. Pp. iii + 861 (23.0 x 1 5.5 cm). 
Published by Regency Publishers (20/36 - G, Old Market, West Patel Nagar, New Delhi 
1 1 0 008). Price Rs. 1 ,500/- (set of 2). 



The four page Introduction gives information on 
Vedic period and Ayurveda, concluding with information 
on the herbal market. According to the author, there 
are 17,500 angiosperms in India, 7,500 of them are 
medicinal and 950 are with new claims made through 
recent research. Looking at these figures, one can 
imagine that the number of Indian medicinal plants dealt 
with (580) are comparatively few. The text is arranged 
in the same manner as in the author’s medicinal plants 
in andhra pradesh, that is in alphabetical order of 
scientific names of the plants, and gives secondary 
information gathered from old sources of literature, of 
which there is a bibliography. Information in the book is 
also in the same pattern as medicinal plants in andhra 
pradesh and 409 plants listed are reproduced along with 
68 additional diagrams. This book also has several 
outdated names. 

Mussaenda frondosa L. is a species from Sri 
Lanka and occurs in India only under cultivation as an 
ornamental. The wild native plant, which goes under 
this name, is M. glabra Hutchinson. 

Justicia procumbens L. (p. 320) and Rostellularia 
procumbens (L.) Nees (447), and Anthocephalus 
chinensis (Lamk.) A. Rich ex Walp. (p. 62) and 



Neolamarkia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser (p. 377), found 
under two entries are one and the same species. 

Mcirsilea quadrifolia L. (p. 348) is only reported 
from Kashmir in India. The common Marsilea species 
with wider distribution and containing the active principle 
Marsilin causing paralysis of nervous system is Marsilea 
min uta Linn. 

The line drawing given as Phyllanthus amarus is 
certainly not of that species. It may be P. urinaria Linn. 
Similarly, the commonly used “Aritha” or “Ritha” is 
Sapindus trifoliatus Linn. (syn. Sapindus laurifolius 
Vahl) not S. emarginatus Vahl. 

The list of herbal drug manufacturers has gone up 
to 79 in this book, and it concludes with two indexes — 
Index to the Sanskrit names and Index to the trade 
names. The lists are in alphabetical order, but there is 
no index to botanical synonyms used in the text and 
therefore the names known under earlier synonyms 
cannot be located. 

There are 22 colour plates of 99 photographs and 
1 86 line drawings, covering 86 1 species of medicinal plants. 
The price at Rs. 1 500/- is not justifiable by any standard. 

M.R. ALMEIDA 



148 



3. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



149-198 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



1 . SIGHTING OF CARACAL IN THE CHAMBAL RAVINES OF BHIND DISTRICT, 
MADHYA PRADESH 



While surveying the Bhind district of Madhya 
Pradesh, to capture crop-raidingNilgai, for translocation 
to the Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary (as part of a prey base 
supplementation for the proposed Asiatic Lion 
Reintroduction Project), I saw two Caracals ( Caracal 
caracal ) at an interval of about 15 days. The first 
sighting was on March 26, 2001 at 1630 hrs while 1 was 
standing on a hillock in the ravines. The Caracal was 
stalking and its tufted ears were conspicuous. The second 
sighting was on April 1 1 , 200 1 at 1930 hrs while I was 
coming back from the ravines and a Caracal came right 
in front of the vehicle. A few faculty members of the 
Wildlife Institute of India and the DFO, Kuno Wildlife 
Sanctuary, also saw it. 

The study area included five villages, namely Bijpuri, 
Lavan, Chandupura, Karke ka pura and Gopalpura. The 
area surrounding these villages (2-4 sq. km) is privately 
owned, i.e. revenue land, and is being used for 
agriculture. The entire area has ravines. 

The major plant species are Prosopis cineraria , 
Capparis decidua , C. sepiaria, C. zeylanica , Acacia 
leucophloea , A. nilotica , Azadirachta indica , 
Salvadora ole aides. Balanites aegvptiaca , Zizyphus 
mauritiana and Z. nwnmularia (Khudsar et al. 2001). 



The area has diverse fauna, such as the Caracal, 
Pangolin ( Manis crassicaudata). Small Indian Civet 
( Viverricula indica ), Indian Porcupine ( Hystrix indica). 
Wolf ( Canis lupus). Jackal ( Canis aureus). Hedgehog, 
Chinkara ( Gazella bennetii). Nilgai ( Boselaphus 
tragocamelus). Hare and many species of birds. 

After observing many bird kills, especially dove 
and partridge, and also scats with bird feathers, I asked 
the villagers of Bijpuri about the presence ofthe Caracal, 
locally called Seyahgosh, by showing a photograph. 
They confirmed its presence and informed that it mostly 
stayed in porcupine burrows. Prater (1971) also 
suggested that Caracals keep their kittens in porcupine 
burrows. They become more visible during the monsoon; 
perhaps they are not able to stay in the burrow. 

Caracal is an endangered small cat, listed in CITES 
Appendix-I (Nowell and Jackson 1996), and in 
Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1 972. 

April 4, 2002 FAIYAZ A. KHUDSAR 

A-4 (Aggarwal Sadan) 
Old Govindpura, Krishna Nagar, 
New Delhi 110 051, India. 

Email: faiyaz@wildmail.com 



REFERENCES 



Khudsar, F.A., S.P. Goyal, N.RS. Chauhan, R. Chellam, K. Jagdish, 
A.J.T. Johnsingh, J.S. Chauhan & S.K. Mittal (2001): A 
pilot study to standardize techniques for capturing nilgai 
using drop-net and translocating them to Kuno Wildlife 
Sanctuary. Technical Report. Wildlife Institute of India, 



Dehra Dun, India. 19 pp. 

Nowell, K. & P. Jackson (Eds) (1996): Wild cats, status survey and 
conservation action plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 382 pp. 
Prater, S.H. ( 1 97 1 ): The Book of Indian Animals. 3rd Edn. Bombay 
Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 78. 



2. OCCURRENCE OF INDIAN WOLF CANIS LUPUS PALLIPES 
IN THE PENCH TIGER RESERVE, MADHYA PRADESH 



In December 1997, we were moving around the 
Pench Tiger Reserve at sunset, when a herd of cattle to 
the right of our vehicle panicked and ran towards us. To 
our surprise, we saw three wolves chasing the cattle. 
The wolves were startled when our vehicle halted with 
a screech. The first animal was a male, larger than the 
other two following it. They stood for a minute and moved 
away to the nearby Cleistanthus forest. We got down 
to follow the wolves, but they disappeared quickly into 
the forest. Though we had heard about the presence of 
wolves near the villages around the Pench Tiger 
Reserve, this was our first sighting. 

After this incident, there were no sightings by the 
villagers until the afternoon of March 23, 1999 when 



two wolves were reported seen close to Bodki village, 
8 km from the Tiger Reserve. The wolves were stalking 
goats grazing close to a crop field, as we watched from 
our vehicle from a distance of c. 1 00 m. The wolves felt 
our presence and ran away towards the forest. We 
followed them for about 1 5 minutes along the road, as 
they moved ahead of our vehicle. We were fortunate to 
get the animals on video for a few minutes. Again, on 
April 29, 1999, the villagers of Karmajhiri reported that 
a pack of wolves had lifted five goats from their village 
in the morning. One goat had managed to escape and 
the half eaten carcasses of the other four were left near 
the village field. 

Playfair (1891) reported the destruction of human 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



life by wolves in the Hoshangabad and Narsinghpur 
districts of Madhya Pradesh. Shahi ( 1 982) reported the 
presence of wolves in six districts of Madhya Pradesh. 
After 13 years, Bharos (1996) reported their presence 
in Rewa, while Ranjitsinh (1998) reported the sighting 
of a female wolf in Raisen and Sidhi districts. In the 
same year, K. Yoganand of Wildlife Institute of India 
reported the presence of wolves and sighting of their 
scats and tracks on the fringes of Panna National Park, 
Panna district, Madhya Pradesh. This is the first report 
from Seoni district. 

In Pench Tiger Reserve, Wild Dogs or Dholes 
(Cuon a/pinus) are observed to occupy the forest, while 
wolves remain on the fringes, close to human settlements. 
The Pench Tiger Reserve supports major Carnivora, 
such as Tiger ( Panthera tigris ), Leopard ( Panthera 
pardus ), Indian Jackal ( Canis aureus), Wild Dog, 
Indian Wolf ( Canis lupus), Indian Fox ( Vulpes 
bengalensis) and Striped Hyena ( Hyaena hyaena). 

The Indian Wolf seems to be widely distributed in 
Madhya Pradesh. The presence of wolves in Pench 
Tiger Reserve poses an intriguing question as the forest 
area is occupied by other canids, like the Wild Dog and 

REFER 

Bharos, A.M.K. (1996): Occurrence of the wolf (Canis lupus 
Linnaeus) in Rewa district (M.R). J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 
93(1): 81. 

Playfair, H.A. (1891): The destruction of life by wolves in the 
Hoshangabad and Narsingpur districts. J Bombay nat Hist. 
Soc. 6(2): 265-268. 

Ranjitsinh. M.K.. ( 1 998): Occurrence of the wolf Canis lupus paUipes 
Linn, in Sidhi district Madhya Pradesh. J. Bombay nat. Hist. 



Indian Jackal, which are common. Yoganand and 
Johnsingh (2000) have also reported the co-existence 
of Dhole and Wolf in Panna, based on temporal and 
spatial segregation, wherein the Wolf occupies the forest 
fringes and the Wild Dog the forested area. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank Mr. K. Yoganand, Ms. Ambika, 
Ms. Neha Samuel and Ms. Livleen Kahlon for critical 
scrutiny and comments on the draft. 

March 27, 2002 *G. AREENDRAN 

**M.K. PASHA 
Wildlife Institute of India, 
Dehra Dun 248 001, Uttaranchal, India. 

*Present Address: IGCMC, WWF-India, 
1 72-B, Lodhi Estate, 
New Delhi 1 10 003, India. 
**Present Address: Wildlife Trust of India, 
C-644, New Friends Colony, 
New Delhi 1 1 0 00 1 , India. 

ACES 

Soc 95(2): 328. 

Shahi. S.P. ( 1 982): Status of the grey wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) in 
India — A Preliminary Survey. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 
79(3): 493-502. 

Yoganand, K. & A.J.T. Johnsingh (2000): Range overlap in 
dhole (Cuon alpinus pallipes) and wolf (Canis lupus Linn.) 
(Family: Canidae), in India. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 97(3): 
418-419. 



3. DEATH OF A BLUE BULL BOSELAPHUS TRAGOCAMELUS DUE TO SNAKEBITE 



Gura Bishnoi is a protected area covering 422 sq. 
km of area, c. 1 5 km southeast of Jodhpur (26° 78' N, 
73° 08' E). There are 24 villages in this protected area, 
of which some are predominantly Bishnoi community 
areas. 

On the morning of September 9, 2001, I visited 
Khajarli, the place where a legendary group of Bishnois 
died trying to protect the Khejri ( Prosopis cineraria). 
On the way, we stopped at Khajarli pond to observe 
Chinkara Gazel/a bennetti, Blackbuck Antilope 
cervicapra and a variety of birds. We were standing 
on the bank of the pond and watching wildlife when we 
heard an unusual animal sound in the nearby Prosopis 
juliflora plantation. We rushed in the direction of the 
sound, and saw a 1.5- 1.8 m long Indian cobra ( Naja 
naja) crossing the path. Further, there was a male Blue 



Bull Boselaphus tragocamelus on a crippled hind leg, 
which prevented it from walking or running properly. 
After 10-12 minutes, the animal began to tremble and 
fell to the ground. People working in the fields nearby 
also came to the spot. One of the old Bishnoi farmers 
looked at the male Blue Bull and said that it was another 
case of snakebite by the black snake usually seen in the 
area. The Blue Bull’s mouth was foaming with saliva 
and its left leg was swollen, when it finally died an hour 
later. 

January 7, 2002 ANIL KUMAR CHHANGANI 

Department of Zoology, 
JNV University, Jodhpur 342 005, 
Rajasthan, India. 

Email: chhanganiak@yahoo.com 



150 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



4. BARKING DEER MUNTIACUS MUNTJAK IN MUNDANTHURAI, TAMIL NADU 



A note by Ray et al. (2000) states that the authors 
saw Barking Deer once in Deer Valley, and twice in 
Kadayam, that Barking Deer had apparently moved into 
Deer Valley from Kadayam and are new additions to 
the fauna of the Mundanthurai Sanctuary. 

Barking Deer is a common nocturnal of the Deer 
Valley. When I was Warden, Mundanthurai, I named 
the area Deer Valley, as four deer species, i.e. Spotted 
Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer and Mouse Deer were 
seen there. 

The Forest Working Plans of Lasrado, Rajasingh 
and Wilson refer to Barking Deer. J. Wilson writes about 
the long tongue of the Barking Deer. Besides, old shooting 
records, a wildlife map of Mundanthurai by M.A. 
Badshah, and the Tiger Reserve Proposal to the 
Government of India by Saroj Raj Choudhry mention 
this deer’s presence in the area. Choudhry (1984) did a 
pellet group sampling of Deer Valley. 

In 1973, T. Jeyadev, Chief Conservator, on seeing 
the footprints and droppings of barking deer in a fenced 
and failed sandalwood plot in Koiltheri in his field 
inspection notes wrote succinctly, “We, however, have 



nice neem plants, thanks to the Barking Deer”. Sandal 
was raised with neem as hosts; Barking Deer nibbled 
off sandal seedlings, leaving the neem plants alone 
(Jeyadev 1973). 

I had taken Dr. Krishnaswamy with Dr. Mural i 
Chandrasekaran to Kannikatty Forest Rest house in 
1977. We had seen a Barking Deer, the darker variety, 
opposite a Gluta travancorica sample plot established 
in 1914. Dr. Krishnaswamy has recorded this in the 
Forest Rest House book (Entry for 1997). 

Barking deer is not a new addition to the fauna of 
the Sanctuary. It was always there. While the excitement 
of seeing an animal for the first time in the wild is 
understandable, authors are advised to refrain from 
rushing to hurried conclusions, like this imaginary 
mammalian movement. 

February 26, 2003 J. MANGALARAJ JOHNSON 

4, Shiv Apts, 759, 65 th Street, 
10 th Sector, K.K. Nagar, 
Chennai 600 078, 
Tamil Nadu, India. 



REFERENCES 



Choudhry, S.R. (1984): Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve Proposals. A 
report to the Government of India. 

Jeyadev, T. (1973): Koiltheri Sandalwood Plantation Journal. Chief 
Conservator of Forests field inspection notes. 



Ray, Jayanti, Justus Joshua & J. Ronald (2000): Sighting of barking 
deer (Muntiacus miintjac) in Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger 
Reserve, Tamil Nadu. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 97(1): 139- 
140. 



5. MORTALITY OF WILD ANIMALS IN ROAD ACCIDENTS 
IN KUMBHALGARH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, RAJASTHAN, INDIA 



Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 
585 sq. km, and lies between 20° 5' - 23° 3'N, and 
73° 15' - 73° 45' E, c. 200 km south of Jodhpur in the 
west Aravalli hills of Rajasthan, India (Fig. 1). The 
altitude varies from c. 274 to 849 m above msl. The 
Sanctuary is characterized by a distinct winter, summer 
and monsoon. During summer, the temperature 
fluctuates between 30 and 35 °C, and may reach 46 °C 
during May and June. The mean winter temperature is 
5 °C; it may go down to 2 °C during December-January. 
Average annual rainfall is recorded as 725 mm, while 
the minimum is 403 mm and maximum is 950 mm. 

The forest is mainly dry deciduous or woodland 
type, dominated by gorya dhawa ( Anogeissus latifolia ), 
salar ( Boswellia serrata), gol ( Lannea 
coromandelica), kherni ( Wrightia tinctoria), dhawa 
(Anogeissus pendula), kumbat (Acacia Senegal), khair 
(Acacia catechu), ber (Zizyphus mauritiana), and dhak 



(Butea monosperma). The undergrowth mainly consists 
of jharber (Zizyphus nummular ia), adusa (Adhatoda 
zeylanica), gangan (Grewia tenex), franger (Grewia 
flavescens), kanter (Capparis sepiaria), and lantana. 
Some climbers and grasses are also found. 

The main fauna of the Sanctuary includes Leopard 
(Panthera pardus). Hyena (Hyaena hyaena). Wolf 
(Canis lupus), Jackal (Canis aureus), Sloth Bear 
(Melursus ursinus), Four-horned Antelope (Tetracerus 
quadricornis), Chinkara (Gazella bennettii), 
Porcupine (Hystrix indica), Sambar (Cervus 
unicolor), Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus). 
Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). 
Jungle Cat (Felis chaus), Fox (Vulpes bengalensis). 
Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) and Rock Python 
(Python molurus). 

Road kill data was collected during a long-term 
study on the eco-behavioural diversity of the Hanuman 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



151 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Fig. 1: Location of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary 
in the Aravalli Hills 



Langur ( Semnopithecus entellus) in and around 
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Two state highways 
(about 25 km long) and 3 ancillary roads (30 km long) 
pass through the Sanctuary. Between December 1995 
and August 1999, while driving on the highway to and 
from the study area, the location and species of each 
road kill was recorded. Occasionally, road kills were 
also reported by forest officials and drivers. This 
information was verified and included in the study. The 
recording efforts remained more or less constant 
throughout the study. Road kills generally dis- 
appeared from the road within a few hours to a day, 
with scavengers operating in the area. This study is 
limited to larger animals, like mammals, birds and 
reptiles, though frog and invertebrate kills were common. 
During the tourist season and monsoon, the number of 
road accidents was high. To estimate the percent 
mortality, the monthly road kills were calculated from 
the data collected during December 1 995 to December 
1998. 

A total of 374 road kills (Table 1 ) were observed 
and recorded in and around Kumbhalgarh Wildlife 
Sanctuary. Of these, 80% occurred on highways. They 



were common along sharp turns, slopes, near water holes 
and on small tracks, which were preferred by animals 
for crossing roads. Altogether 43 species of animals 
were found killed in road accidents. Of these, 49% were 
birds, 39.5% were mammals and 1 1 .5% were reptiles. 
The most common victim was the Hanuman langur, 
followed by the common palm civet and squirrel 
( Funambulus pennanti). 

Doves and babblers were the common bird species 
in the road kills (Table 1). Of the total reptile kills, the 
Checkered Keelback ( Xenochrophis piscator ) was the 
main victim. 

Maximum road kills (13.9%) were observed in 
August during monsoon and minimum (3.2%) in June 
during summer. Fewer road kills were recorded between 
January and July (Fig. 2). 

Some vehicle - animal collisions also involve 
material damage and human casualties. Nine collisions 
between vehicles and blue bull were recorded during 
this study. In several accidents, the drivers successfully 
avoided hitting an animal, but in the process lost control 
of the vehicle. On an average, one animal collision 
occurred every month on the roads in and around the 
Sanctuary. Deliberate killing of animals by drivers was 
also recorded. 

The most commonly killed mammals were 
nocturnal species, like common palm civet and jackal. 
Wild boar and blue bull usually got killed in the evenings 
when they crossed the road, as they moved out of the 
Sanctuary to raid crop fields (Chhangani and Mohnot 
1997). 

Home ranges of the study troops of Hanuman 
Langur cross over the highway located in our study area. 
Road accidents have also been observed in other study 
sites by Mohnot ( 1 974), Rajpurohit ( 1 987), Agoramoorthy 
(1987), Chhangani and Mohnot(1997), and Rajpurohit 
and Chhangani ( 1 997). 

Large numbers of Hanuman Langur are killed in 
road accidents. Of the total langurs killed, about 25% 
were victims of road accidents (Chhangani 2000). The 
world famous Ranakpur temple is visited by a large 
number of tourists, who offer food to langurs, which 
keep close to the temple (Chhangani 2000). The langurs 
expect food from every passing vehicle, so they do not 
give way to speeding vehicles, and are killed by them. 
Provisioning of langurs along the roads is common due 
to religious sentiments. Many times, during fights and 
other interactions between bisexual troops and all-male 
bands, these animals while running and chasing each 
other suddenly come in front of a vehicle, get hit and 
often die instantaneously. 

Langurs also use the roads for walking, running 
and foraging for vegetation along the roadside. Besides, 



152 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Table 1: Animal kills recorded in road accidents in Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary from December 1995 to 1998 



Common name Scientific Name Nos. 

Killed 



Mammals 



1. 


Leopard 


Panthera pardus 


2 


2. 


Hyena 


Hyaena hyaena 


1 


3. 


Jackal 


Cams aureus 


12 


4. 


Blue Bull 


Boselaphus tragocamelus 


6 


5. 


Wild Boar 


Sus scrofa 


3 


6. 


Wolf 


Canis lupus 


1 


7. 


Fox 


Vulpes bengalensis 


5 


8. 


Common 


Paradoxurus 


24 




Palm Civet 


hermaphroditus 




9. 


Jungle Cat 


Felis chaus 


6 


10. 


Hanuman Langur 


Semnopithecus entellus 


29 


11. 


Common 

Mongoose 


Herpestes edwardsi 


4 


12 


Small Indian 
Mongoose 


Herpestes javamcus 


5 


13. 


Squirrel 


Funambulus pennanti 


20 


14. 


Indian Gerbil 


Tatera indica 


10 


15. 


Field Mouse 


Mus platythrix 


14 


16. 


Indian Hare 


Lepus mgricollis 


5 


17. 


House Mouse 


Mus musculus 


8 




Total 




155 


Birds 






1. 


Long-billed 

Vulture 


Gyps mdicus 


4 


2. 


Indian 

White-backed 

Vulture 


Gyps bengalensis 


7 


3. 


Grey Francolin 


Francolmus pondicerianus 


9 


4. 


Common Quail 


Coturnlx coturnix 


6 



these busy roads help them to avoid predators, like the 
Panther, Wolf and Jackal that usually avoid coming on 
the roads in the day. 

Amongst birds, doves and babblers were the worst 
affected (38% of total kills) as they usually feed on the 




Months 



Fig. 2: Percent road kills in different months in and around 
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary (Dec. 1995 to Dec. 1998) 



Common name 


Scientific Name 


Nos. 

Killed 


5. 


Rock Bush-quail 


Perdicula argoondah 


2 


6. 


Grey Junglefowl 


Gallus sonneratii 


5 


7. 


Indian Peafowl 


Pavo cristatus 


6 


8 


Blue Rock Pigeon 


Columba livia 


5 


9. 


Indian Ring Dove 


Streptopelia decaocto 


16 


10. 


Red Collared-dove 


Streptopelia tranquebarica 


8 


11. 


Little Brown Dove 


Streptopelia senegalensis 


12 


12. 


Greater Coucal 


Centropus sinensis 


6 


13. 


Common 


Caprimulgus asiaticus 


2 




Indian Nightjar 






14. 


Common Myna 


Acridotheres tristis 


3 


15. 


House Crow 


Corvus splendens 


9 


16. 


Jungle Crow 


Corvus macrorhynchos 


2 


17. 


Common Babbler 


Turdoides caudatus 


14 


18. 


Jungle Babbler 


Turdoides striatus 


6 


19. 


Pied Bush-chat 


Saxicola caprata 


8 


20. 


Indian Robin 


Saxicoloides fulicata 


2 


21. 


House Sparrow 


Passer domesticus 


12 




Total 




144 



Reptiles 



1 . 


Common 
Indian Monitor 


Varanus bengalensis 


25 


2. 


Monitor 

(unidentified) 


Varan us sp. 


4 


3. 


Indian Cobra 


Naja naja 


5 


4. 


Cat Snake 


Boiga trigonata 


12 


5. 


Checkered 

Keelback 


Xenochrophis piscator 


29 




Total 




75 



road. They are attracted to the seeds and grains that 
fall from transport vehicles, and dead insects and ants 
crushed on the roads during monsoon. Birds are run 
over or hit when taking off suddenly. A large proportion 
(16%) of birds killed were vultures and crows. These 
scavengers get hit while feeding on dead animals on the 
road. Among the reptiles, the Checkered Keelback are 
most affected. They are killed in the monsoon mostly 
on roads and near water holes, because of their 
amphibious habit (R.C. Sharma pers. comm.). The road 
kill problems of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary are 
similar to those in Spain and in African protected areas 
(Lopez 1993, Lopez and Roviralta 1993, Broekhuysen 
1 965, Lewis 1 989, Drews 1991). 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

This study is a part of the Indo-US Primate Project, 
a collaborative programme of the Ministry of 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



153 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Environment and Forests, Government of India, and the 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Grant Agreement No. 
INT/FWS-22). I would like to thank Prof. S.M. Mohnot, 
Director, Indo-US Primate Project and the State Forest 
Department staff and officials of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife 
Sanctuary, especially A.C.F. Shri Lalit Singh Ranawat, 
and Shri Sukhdave and Shri Madan Mali, Field 

REFER 

Agoramoorthy, G. (1987): Reproductive Behaviour in Hanuman 
langur, Presbytis entellus. Ph D. Thesis. Jodhpur University. 
Brockhuysen, G. (1965): An analysis of bird casualties on the road 
in the southwestern Cape Province, South Africa. L 'Oiseau. 
Rev. Ornithol. 35: 35-5 1 . 

Chhangani, A.K. (2000): Ecobehavioural diversity of langurs. 
Presbytis entellus living in different ecosystems. Unpublished 
Ph.D. Thesis. TNV University, Jodhpur. 

Chhangani, A.K. & S.M. Mohnot (1997): Kumbhalgarh Wildlife 
Sanctuary under stress. Nat. Symp. Public Participation Env. 
Protection. Dec. 1997. JNV University, Jodhpur. Pp. 15. 
Drews, C. (1991): Road kills in Mikumi National Park. Miombo. 

Newsl. Wild. Cons. Soc., Tanzania 7: 6-7. 

Lewis, A.D. (1989): Road kills and other records of mainly smaller 
mammals from Kenya: Data for a Kenyan mammal atlas. East 
Afr. Nat Hist. Soc. Bull. 19: 20-22. 

Lopez, J. (1993): Metodologia yresulyados del proyecto de 
seguimiento de la mortalidad de vertebrados en carreteras 



Assistants, for their support during this study. 

April 1 8, 2002 ANIL KUMAR CHHANGANI 

Indo-US Primate Project 
Department of Zoology, JNV University, 
Jodhpur 342 005, Rajasthan, India. 

Email: chhanganiak@yahoo.com 

ENCES 

(P.M.V.C./C.O.D.A.). In: II SimposiaNacional sobre Carreteras 
y Medio Ambiente, Asociacion Tecnica de Carreteras ( AIPCR), 
Madrid. 

Lopez, J. & F. Roviralta (1993): Banco de datos y centra de 
documentacion acerca de la mortalidad de vertebrados en 
carreteras. In: II Simposia Nacional sobre Carreteras y Medio 
Ambiente. Asociacion Tecnica de Carreteras (AIPCR), Madrid. 

Mohnot, S.M. (1974): Ecology and behaviour of the common Indian 
langur, Presbytis entellus. Ph.D. thesis. University of Jodhpur, 
Jodhpur. 

Rajpurohit, L.S. (1987): Male Social Organisation in Hanuman langur 
(Presbytis entellus). Ph.D. thesis. University of Jodhpur, Jodhpur. 

Rajpurohit, L.S. & A.K. Chhangani (1997): Males’ number 
decreasing in langurs (Presbytis entellus) around Jodhpur (India). 
Abstracts - I s ' Goettinger Freilandtage on Primate Socio - 
Ecology: Causes and Consequences of Variation in the Members 
of Males Per Group, German Primate Centre (DPZ), Goettingen 
(Germany), Primate Report 48(2): 30. 



6. GREATER SPOTTED EAGLE AQUILA CLANGA PALLAS AND NORTHERN SHOVELLER 
ANAS CLYPEATA LINN. — TWO RARE RECORDS FROM KERALA 



On January 11, 2001, while conducting the 
waterfowl census at the Kattampally wetlands near 
Kannur, a Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga was 
seen. The raptor was observed for almost one hour, in 
good light, as it soared overhead. It was a dark brown 
bird having broad wings with splayed out primaries, 
underwing-coverts darker than the flight feathers, white 
spots on the upperwing forming a thin wingbar and white 
uppertail-coverts. These features suggested that the bird 
was an immature. The author is familiar with this species 
with many sightings at Bharatpur. Kattampally is one of 
the major wetlands of Kerala and hosts large 
congregations of migratory and resident water-fowl. On 
November 20, 1 998, the author along with N.K. Satyan 
had seen a soaring Aquila eagle being mobbed by a 
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus , but specific 
identification was not possible as the raptor was too far 
away. 



The only published record of the Greater Spotted 
Eagle in Kerala is a single undated sighting by 
Srivastava et al. ( 1 995), quoted by BirdLife International 
(2001). 

At Kattampally, on March 27, 2001, 4 male 
Northern Shovellers Anas clypeata were spotted by 
P.C. Rajeevan and the author among a group of more 
than 500 Garganey Anas querquedula and Northern 
Pintail Anas acuta. 

An early record of this species from Kerala is that 
of a specimen received by A.O. Hume from Wynaad 
(Kinnear and Whistler 1930). 

April 2, 2002 C. SASHI KUMAR 

9, Subhash Nagar, 
Kannur 670 002, 
Kerala, India. 



REFERENCES 



BirdLife International (2001 ): Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International. 
Kinnear, Norman B. & H. Whistler (1930): "The Vcrnay scientific survey of the Eastern Ghats. Ornithological Section’. Part XVI. J. Bombay 
nat. Hist. Soc 39 461-462. 

Srivastava, K.K., A.K. Bhardwaj, C.J. Abraham & V.J. Zacharias (1995): Status and habitats of raptors in Periyar. Indian Forester 119: 816- 

827. 



154 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



7. MARSH HARRIER CIRCUS AERUGINOSUS PRE-ROOSTING 
ON TREES rN KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK, BHARATPUR, RAJASTHAN 



The Keoladeo National Park (27° 7.6' to 
27° 12.2' N, 77° 29.5' to 77° 33.2' E) in Rajasthan is a 
known roost of Marsh Harriers (Samant el al. 1995). 
During the present study ( 1 997-99) more than 1 50 Marsh 
Harriers were recorded roosting in the grasslands of 
the Park. 

The harriers roost communally on the ground 
outside the breeding season (Newton 1979). The Marsh 
Harriers were observed roosting communally in the 
southeast corner of the Park on the ground among tall 
grasses in Block-G (locally called Koladehar). They 
started arriving at the roost area about an hour before 
sunset and pre-roosted on trees lining the roost area. 
This behaviour is unusual, as they have never been 
recorded pre-roosting on trees elsewhere. They 
generally pre-roost on bare ground before settling in the 
actual roosting site (Clarke 1996, Donald 1905). 

By pre-roosting in the open, harriers probably 
attract their roosting allies to a particular roost to increase 
the roost size, as has been seen in other species (Zahavi 
1971). Roosting communally in big flocks has its own 
advantages (Ward and Zahavi 1973). Pre-roosting on 
tree-tops by Marsh Harriers in the Park may be for the 
same reason, as the grass here is very tall (about 2.5 m). 
Pre-roosting on the ground would not be beneficial, as 
they would not be visible to their conspecifics. Another 
possible reason for pre-roosting on trees could be to 

REFER 

Clarke, R. (1996): Preliminary observations on the importance of a 
large communal roost of wintering harriers in Gu jarat (N.W. 
India) and comparison with a roost in Senegal (W. Africa). 

J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 93: 44-50. 

Donald, C.H. (1905): A congregation of harriers. J. Bombay nat. 
Hist. Soc. 16: 504-505. 

Newton, I. (1979): Population ecology of raptors. T. & A.D. Poyser 
Ltd., England. 



avoid the mammalian predators lurking around, such as 
the Jungle Cat Felis chans. Jackal Cams aureus , and 
Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, that are frequently 
sighted in the grassland. 

During the winters of 1 997-98 and 1 998-99, 74% 
of the pre-roosting (n = 3753) was recorded on trees. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I thank the Rajasthan Forest Department for 
permission to work in the Park, Ms. Shruti Sharma, 
Director, Keoladeo National Park for kindly extending 
facilities and the US Fish and Wildlife Service for funding 
the project, especially Mr. David Ferguson for help and 
encouragement. I thank Mr. J.C. Daniel, Honorary 
Secretary, BNHS, Dr. A.R. Rahmani, Director, BNHS 
and Dr. Vibhu Prakash for encouragement and critical 
comments on the manuscript. 

November 7, 200 1 ASHOK VERMA 

Bombay Natural History Society, 
Hornbill House, S.B. Singh Road, 
Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. 
Present Address: Sarafa Bazaar, 
Rekha Naanga Street, 
Bharatpur 321 001, Rajasthan, India. 
Email: vermaasok@rediffmail.com 

ENCES 

Samant, J.S., V. Prakash & Rjshad Naoroji (1995): Ecology and 
Behaviour of Resident Raptors with special reference to 
Endangered Species. Final Report 1990-93. Bombay Natural 
History Society, Bombay. Pp. 92. 

Ward. P. & A. Zahavi (1973): The importance of certain assemblages 
as “information centers” for food finding. Ibis 115: 517-534. 
Zahavi, A. (1971): The function of pre-roost gatherings and 
communal roosts. Ibis 113: 106-109. 



8. BLUE-WINGED PARAKEET PSITTACULA COLUMBOIDES, 
FAMILY PSITTACIDAE, FEEDING ON LORANTHUS LEAVES 



On March 5, 2001, I was birding near Doodha 
Sagar in Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa when I saw 
a Blue-winged Parakeet ( Psittacula columboides) and 
Indian Hanging-parrot ( Loriculus vernalis ) on an 
Arjuna tree ( Terminalia arjuna). 

On close observation, I found that both the species 
were feeding on the green leaves of a parasitic plant on 
the Arjuna tree. The half chewed leaves were collected 
and later identified as Loranthus longiflorus . On March 



6, 200 1 , the same activity was observed in Castle Rock 
village on the Goa - Karnataka border, Joyda taluka, 
Uttar Kannada district, Karnataka. 

August 20, 2001 SHARAD APTE 

1 766, Ushahakal, Ganesh Nagar, 
Dr. Ambedkar Road, 
Sangli 416 416, 
Maharashtra, India. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



155 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



9. SIGHTING OF THE ORIENTAL BAY-OWL PHODILUS BADIUS SATURATUS 
IN PAKHUI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, WESTERN ARUNACHAL PRADESH 



The Oriental Bay-Owl (Pliodilus badius) has been 
considered a rare resident throughout its range in the 
Indian subcontinent, which consists of three disjunct 
areas (Ali and Ripley 1983, Hussain and Khan 1997). 
While there have been several recent records of the 
southern subspecies assimilis from the Anaimalai Hills 
and the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, 
southern India (Kannan 1993, Mudappa 1998, Raman 
2001), there have been no recent reports of the 
subspecies soturatus from either north-east India, or 
from western Arunachal Pradesh. 

I sighted an individual of the Oriental Bay-Owl in 
Seijusa in Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary (WS) on January 
18, 1999. Pakhui WS is located in western Arunachal 
Pradesh, near the Assam- Arunachal Pradesh border, and 
covers an area of 862 sq. km, with an altitudinal variation 
from 100 to 2,000 m. The major vegetation type of 
Pakhui WS is tropical semi-evergreen forest. There are 
adjacent tracts of intact forest areas, logged forests, 
plantations and agricultural settlements. Extensive loss 
of forest cover and degradation has occurred mainly in 
some areas in adjacent Assam. Around 267 bird species 
have been recorded from this area, and six other species 
of owls have been reported (Datta etal. 1998). The main 
threats to the existence of these forests are logging and 
settlements, hunting. Minor disturbances are extraction 
of cane, agar ( Aquillaria agallocha ), and other minor 
forest produce. 

The owl was sighted at an altitude of c. 300 m, 
which was c. 500 m from the Forest Department Range 
offices and 50 m from a frequently used forest trail. 
Locals and forest staff often move through the area to 
cut firewood and poles for construction, and to collect 
food and medicinal plants, mushrooms and black 
dammar ( Canarium resiniferum). 

I first spotted the owl at 0815 hrs and watched it 
for the next half hour. It was facing me with closed eyes, 
perched on a horizontal branch of a small understorey 
tree c. 5 m from the ground. As the species was 
unfamiliar to me, I sketched and photographed it 

REFER 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1983): A Handbook of the Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Compact edition. Oxford University Press, 737 pp. 
Datta, A., P. Singh, R.M. Athreya & S. Karthikeyan (1998): Birds 
of Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary in western Arunachal Pradesh. 
Newsletter for Birdwatchers 38: 91-96. 

Hussain, S.A. & M.A.R. Khan (1997): A new subspecies of bay 
owl ( Phodilus badius) Horsfield from peninsular India. 

J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 74: 334-335. 




Fig. 1: Oriental bay-owl perched on an understorey tree 
in Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh 



(Fig. 1). It seemed quite unperturbed, though we were 
standing and watching it from such close quarters. It 
remained motionless for half an hour. The owl opened 
its eyes once or twice, but otherwise ignored our 
presence. Interestingly, earlier daytime sightings of this 
bird have reported that it could be observed for quite 
some time, because it did not fly away immediately on 
being disturbed (Kannan 1993, Mudappa 1998). 

The Bay-Owl seems rare and ranges from foothill 
forests up to 1,500 m in NE India. The subspecies 
saturatus is reported from Nepal, Sikkim, Nagaland, 
Manipur, and Assam, north and south of the 
Brahmaputra river (Ali and Ripley 1983), and also 
South-East Asia. However, the present observation is 
the first record for Arunachal Pradesh. 

December 12, 2002 APARAJITA DATTA 

Wildlife Institute of India, 
Chandrabani, P.O. Box 1 8, 
Dehradun 248 001, Uttaranchal, India. 
Present Address: do Nature Conservation India 
3076/5, 4th cross, Gokulam Park, Mysore 570 002. 

Email: aparajita_dl@rediffmail.com 

ENCES 

Kannan, R. (1993): Rediscovery of the Oriental bay owl Phodilus 
badius in peninsular India. Forktaii 8: 48-149. 

Mudappa, D. (1998): Sight record of the Oriental bay owl ( Phodilus 
badius ripleyi ) in the Anaimalai Hills, southern Western Ghats, 
India. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 95: 343. 

Raman, T.R.S. (2001): Observations on the Oriental bay owl 
Phodilus badius and range extension in the Western Ghats, 
India. Forktaii 17: 110-111. 



156 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



10. ALBINISM IN WHITE-BREASTED KINGFISHER HALCYON SMYRNENSIS (LINNE) 
FROM INDIA 



On August 7, 1999, my attention was drawn 
towards a white bird that flew past our speeding jeep 
between Sambajiguda and Jamini villages in Jainur 
mandal, Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, north of 
Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary (19° 05'-19° 20' N and 
78° 32'-79° 12' E). A thorough search of the area 
resulted in the sighting of an albino White-breasted 
Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis (Linne) that was 
observed from 1218 to 1226 hrs. It was frequently 
chasing another individual of the same species with loud 
cackling calls. The birds remained in the vicinity of a 
small stream flowing between fallow fields and scrub. 
Alarmed at being followed constantly, the birds flew 
towards a nearby hillock where they could not be 
located. Photographs taken are not of printable quality, 
but fortunately the bird was successfully videographed. 

Albinism among avians is not an uncommon feature 
and has been reported for many species earlier (Pittie, A. 
pers. comm.). Albinism in White-breasted Kingfisher 
has been reported from Sri Lanka (Gunawardana 1 993) 



and Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur (Rahmani, A.R. 
pers. comm.). This is the second report of the same 
from India. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I thank Dr. V. Nagulu and the Head, Department 
of Zoology, for encouragement and facilities; Chief 
Wildlife Warden (Andhra Pradesh Forest Department) 
for permission; Divisional Forest Officer and other 
staff of Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary for hospitality 
and help; and Aasheesh Pittie for valuable discussions. 
Fellowship grant by CSIR, New Delhi is acknowledged. 

June 5, 2002 C. SRINIVASULU 

Wildlife Biology Section, 
Department of Zoology, Osmania University, 

Hyderabad 500 007, 
Andhra Pradesh, India. 
Email: hyd2_masawa@sancharnet.in 



REFERENCE 

Gunawardana, J. (1993): Description of an albino white-breasted kingfisher ( Halcyon smyrnensis ). Ceylon Bird Club Notes, June: 
56-57. 

1 1 . DUETTING CALLS OF THE HEART-SPOTTED WOODPECKERS 
HEMIC1RCUS CANENTE (LESSON) 



The various calls of the Heart-spotted Woodpecker 
(Hemicircus canente ) have been summarized by Short 
(1982), and Ali and Ripley (1983). In both these standard 
references, there is no mention of a duetting call-note, 
which I have heard frequently during my study of 
woodpeckers at the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary 
in Kerala. Both these works mention a “twee twee 
twee” call-note (originally described by Betts 1934), 
which is sometimes “extended into a trill of seven or 
eight notes.” Short (1982) has interpreted this call as 
being equivalent to the aggressive trill call of the related 
Gray and Buff Woodpecker ( H . concretus), which is 
found in Southeast Asia. This call of H. concretus 
contains a series of fast-repeated “pit” call-notes. He 
also commented that the “twee twee twee” call-note is 
similar to the thin, plaintive “su-sie”, a call given with a 
short bow, repeated up to 10-12 times. 

I would describe the “twee twee twee” notes 
referred to by Betts, as the “duetting” notes and these 
are quite different from the “su-sie” call-notes. During 
my study at Peechi (1991-1993), I have recorded the 



duetting calls on at least 32 different dates. These calls 
are a fast repeated series of “twee twee twee”, quite 
loud and sharp, and audible at fairly considerable 
distances from the birds (c. 200-250 m). These duets 
go on for anything between 5-6 seconds to about a 
minute, non-stop. Often, both birds of the pair are 
present next to one another or are within a few metres 
of each other when the calls are uttered. Most often, 
the calls are given from a perch, but they are also 
occasionally heard when one of the birds flies to join its 
mate from a nearby tree or branch. I have seen duetting 
birds often sitting next to one another. The birds assume 
an upright posture with their wings slightly drooped and 
often face each other while calling. 

Duetting calls were heard mostly between 
September and December (59%), and rarely after 
February ( 1 3%). I have heard the birds duet near their 
nests. On one occasion, a male which came to relieve 
its incubating mate, called from a nearby tree. The 
female promptly responded by flying out of the nest- 
hole, and they duetted for 5-6 seconds. After this, the 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



157 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



male entered the nest-hole and the female flew away. 

In contrast, the “su-sie” calls are uttered even 
when the birds are alone and they are accompanied by 
bows and cocking the head. Though several such calls 
are repeated, this is done slowly, one at a time with an 
interval of one or two seconds each. 

In my opinion, the duetting calls of the heart-spotted 
woodpecker could serve two purposes: the first, as a 
recognition call, perhaps also to maintain the pair bond, 
and second, being loud and sharp, as a territorial call. 
This species, as well as the related Gray and Buff 
Woodpecker, are known to drum uncommonly (Short 
1982). 1 too heard the Heart-spotted Woodpecker 
drumming only on two occasions in the entire study period 
of 18 months. The drumming was weak and rather 

REFER 

Ali, S. & S. D. Ripley (1983): A Handbook of Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Compact Edition, Oxford University Press, Bombay. 
Betts, F.N. (1934): South Indian woodpeckers. J Bombay nat Hist 



inaudible. The duet calls may act as a substitute for the 
drumming and may serve to announce the occupation 
of a territory. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

This study was supported by the Wildlife 
Conservation Society, New York, USA. 

March 2 1 , 2002 V. SANTHARAM 

Institute of Bird Studies and Natural History, 
Rishi Valley 517 532, 
Chittoor district, 
Andhra Pradesh, India. 
Emai 1 : santharam_vs@rediffmai 1 .com 

NCES 

Soc. 37: 197-203. 

Short, L.L. ( 1 982): Woodpeckers of the world. Delware Museum of 
Natural History, Greenville, Delware, U.S.A. 



12. WOODPECKER HOLES USED FOR NESTING BY SECONDARY CAVITY- 
NESTERS IN THE WESTERN GHATS, INDIA 



The use of woodpecker holes by secondary cavity- 
nesting birds is well known (Short 1 979). Yet no specific 
information exists for the Western Ghats, India. During 
a study of woodpeckers at the Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife 
Sanctuary, Kerala, I came across eight species of 
secondary cavity-nesting birds using old holes of five 
woodpecker species (Table 1). 

There was a close relation between the size 
(weight) of the bird and the diameter of the nest hole 
entrance. All the birds weighing more than 100 gm 



nested in the nest-holes of the Greater Golden-backed 
Woodpecker, whose mean nest-hole diameter was 
12.7 cm, while the smallest bird (Yellow-throated 
Sparrow) nested more frequently in the nest-cavities of 
the Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker. This choice may 
be related to competition. Birds nesting in large cavities 
stand a greater chance of eviction by a larger competitor. 

In addition, bees were seen occupying two nests 
of the Greater Golden-backed Woodpecker and one of 
the Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker. Yellow-throated 



Table 1 : Details of secondary cavity-nesters occupying woodpecker nests 



Woodpecker species 



Secondary cavity-nesters 


MG 


SB 


YN 


MA 


PY 




(12.7)* 


(7.4)* 


(6.8)* 


(4.7)* 


(3.4)* 




n = 19 


n = 6 


n = 3 


n = 9 


n = 10 


Indian Roller ( Coracias benghalensis) (169 gm)" 


2 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Spotted Owlet ( Athene brama) (114 gm) “ 


1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) (110 gm)“ 


3 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) (104 gm) " 


1 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Jungle Myna ( Acridotheres fuscus) (83 gm) " 


- 


1 


- 


- 


- 


Grey-headed Starling (Sturnus malabaricus) (40 gm) ” 


- 


- 


1 


- 


- 


Oriental Magpie Robin ( Copsychus saularis) (35 gm) “ 


- 


1 


- 


- 


- 


Yellow-throated Sparrow (Petronia xanthocollis) (18 gm)" 


- 


- 


- 


1 


4 



MG = Chrysocolaptes lucidus (Greater Golden-backed Woodpecker), SB = Picus xanthopygaeus (Little Scaly-bellied Green 
Woodpecker), YN = Picus chlorolophus (Small Yellow-naped Woodpecker), MA = Dendrocopos mahrattensis (Yellow-fronted 
Pied Woodpecker), PY = Dendrocopos nanus (Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker), *Nest entrance diameter estimate 
in cm (Santharam 1995), **Body-weight of the bird (Ali and Ripley 1983). 



158 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Sparrows were the most aggressive and persistent 
competitors. They attempted to evict Brown-capped 
Pygmy Woodpeckers even before the latter completed 
their nesting, and in one instance before the excavation 
was complete. In most cases, nest-holes were almost 
immediately occupied (within a week) after the 
woodpeckers vacated nests. There was a demand for fresh 
holes because these are safer, harbouring fewer parasites 
and known to fewer competitors and predators (Short 1 979, 
Van Balen etal. 1982, Sedgwick and Knopf 1992). 

REFER 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1983): Handbook of the Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Compact Edition. OUP, Bombay. 

Santharam, V. (1995): Ecology of sympatric woodpecker species 
of Western Ghats, India. Ph. D. Thesis, Pondicherry 
University (Unpublished). 

Sedgwick, J.A. & F.L. Knopf ( 1 992): Cavity turnover and equilibrium 
cavity densities in a Cottonwood bottomland. J. Wildl. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

This study was supported by the Wildlife 
Conservation Society, New York, USA. 

November 7, 2001 V. SANTHARAM 

Institute of Bird Studies 
and Natural History, 
Rishi Valley 517 352, 
Andhra Pradesh, India. 
Emai I : santharam_vs@rediffmai I .com 

ENCES 

Manage. 56: 477-484. 

Short, L. L. ( 1 979): Burdens of the picid hole excavating habit. Wilson 
Bull. 91: 16-28. 

Van Balen, J.H., C.J.H. Booy, J.A. Van Franekar & E.R. Osieck 
(1982): Studies on hole-nesting birds in natural nest sites. 1 . 
Availability and occupation of natural nest sites. Ardea 70: 
1-24. 



13. SIGHTING OF BLACK-NAPED ORIOLE ORIOLUS CHINENSIS AND 
FRANKLIN’S PRINIA PRINIA HODGSON II m SIRKALI, NAGAPATTINAM 
DISTRICT, TAMIL NADU 



Between January 26 and February 10, 2000, we 
carried out a survey of birds around villages in Sirkali 
taluka, Nagapattinam district, in the state of Tamil Nadu, 
south India. The habitats surveyed included wooded 
areas along rivers, grasslands, paddy fields, freshwater 
lakes, and coastal swamps. The villages are located along 
the Bay of Bengal coast, which is a major migratory 
route for birds leading to Point Calimere and onwards 
to Sri Lanka. We recorded a total of 113 species of 
birds, and two species, the Black-naped Oriole ( Oriolus 
chinensis) and Franklin’s Prinia ( Prinia hodgsonii), 
were recorded for the first time from this area. The 
Black-naped Oriole was seen in a wooded area at a 
farm in Thittai village. It appears to be a rare winter 
visitor to India (Grimmett ef a/. 1999). Ali (1996) states 
that this species is an occasional winter visitor to the 
Peninsula, northeast India and Bangladesh. The 



Franklin’s Prinia was very vocal as it rested on top of a 
bent grass blade in the paddy fields at sunset. The dark 
grey hood was almost like the Sardinian Warbler Sylvia 
melanocephala, and it contrasted markedly with the 
white belly unbarred by a grey breast-band. Its fantail 
was bordered with white spots disposed in scale. This 
species has not been seen in the area (Grimmett et al. 
1 999) and there is no mention of it in Ali ( 1 996). 

November 1 2, 200 1 G. AGORAMOORTHY 

Sun Yat-sen University, 
P.O. Box 59-157, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan. 

D. VERNIER 

S.M. Govindasamy Nayakkar Memorial Foundation, 
4 Thittai Road, Thenpathy 609 111, 
Sirkali taluka, Nagapattinam district, 
Tamil Nadu State, India. 



REFERENCES 

Ali, S. (1996): The Book of Indian Birds. 12"' Edn. Bombay Natural Grimmett, R , C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (1999): Pocket Guide to the 
History Society, Oxford University Press, Bombay. Pp. 364. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm. Pp. 558. 



14. RED- VENTED BULBUL PYCNONOTUS CAFER FEEDING BLACK DRONGO 
DICRURUS MACROCERCUS CHICKS 



On a monsoon visit to the Panna Tiger Reserve in 
Madhya Pradesh, India between July 4 and 15, 2001 
we were amazed at the number of bird species nesting 



in a half acre patch around our research camp, near the 
Hinauta entrance barrier. Among those feeding their 
nestlings at that time were Indian Rollers ( Coracias 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



159 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



benghalensis ), Eurasian Golden Orioles ( Oriolus 
oriolus), Black-headed Cuckoo-shrikes ( Corcicina 
melanoptera), White-browed Fantail-flycatchers 
( Rhipidura aureola ), Red-vented Bulbuls ( Pycnonotus 
cafer ) and Black Drongos ( Dicrurus macrocercus). 
Yellow-eyed Babblers ( Chrysomma sinense ) were 
building a nest, and by July 1 4 three eggs had been laid. 
Rufous-backed Shrikes ( Lanius schach ) were also 
around, feeding chicks that had recently left their nest. 

This patch contained approximately thirteen large 
and small Teak trees ( Tectona grandis), eight 
Lagerstroemia parviflora trees, three Diospyros 
melanoxylon and one Terminalia alata, besides a few 
Zizyphus and Lagerstroemia bushes. The Rollers were 
nesting in a cavity in the Terminalia , the Orioles had 
hung their basket nest on the lower branches of the 
largest of the Diospyros and the Babbler was weaving 
its cone in a small Zizyphus bush. The others chose the 
shelter of two of the Lagerstroemia for their nest - the 
Fantail-flycatcher, Bulbul and Cuckoo-shrike shared the 
same 10 m high tree in ascending order, and the Drongo 
was in another similar sized tree, c. 20 m away. Ali and 
Ripley (compact handbook of the birds of india and 
Pakistan, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1987) 
say that some species, including orioles and bulbuls, 
“commonly build in the same tree as holds a Black 
Drongo’s nest” as the latter is particularly forceful in its 
protection from other species. Perhaps this accounts 
for what seemed to be a relatively high density of nests 
in such a small patch. The White-browed Fantail- 
flycatcher is also a pugnacious defender of its territory. 

Exact dates of hatching of the chicks are not 
recorded. By July 4, the Roller, Drongo and Oriole were 
all feeding chicks. The roller’s chicks could not be seen 
and the adults proved too shy to watch closely. The 
Oriole’s three chicks were still small and unfeathered, 
but the Drongo’s three were already partially fledged. 
The fantails were first seen feeding on July 9 and the 
three chicks had probably only recently hatched. 

The Cuckoo-shrikes’ 'nest was spotted on July 1 1, 
although the adults had been seen carrying food a few 
days earlier. The bulbuls were first seen feeding only 
on July 1 5, and it seemed likely that these chicks were 
also recently hatched. 



The Black Drongos were nesting at the fork of a 
branch approximately 4 m from the ground. Although I 
had been watching the nest off and on since my arrival 
and even spent time photographing them, I only saw the 
Bulbul come to the Drongo nest in the early morning of 
July 8. 1 cannot say for sure that it began on this day, as 
I was watching opportunistically and could possibly have 
missed it earlier. But the Drongo parents - both were 
feeding the chicks - were aggressive in chasing the 
Bulbul off when it came near the nest. The Bulbul 
developed a strategy of waiting nearby until both Drongo 
parents had fed their chicks, and then slipping in 
unobtrusively before they returned with the next food 
supply. Its arrival at the nest would herald a round of 
begging and it would feed a Drongo chick. On this first 
day, 1 also saw the Bulbul chase off the Yellow-eyed 
Babbler that was moving close to the nest tree. The 
Bulbul continued to feed the Drongo chicks every day 
after this, and we were able to photograph and film it 
doing so. By the evening of July 9, the two larger Drongo 
chicks were outside the nest and hopping along the 
branch; on July 10 these two were moving among the 
upper and lower branches of the tree, although all three 
were in or next to the nest by evening. The Bulbul 
continued to partake in the feeding. By midday of July 
1 1 , the third chick had also left the nest and from July 1 2 
onwards, all three had left the nest tree and were moving 
in the neighbouring Teak trees which afforded them more 
cover — also from the rain. The Bulbul continued to 
bring food and feed them and the chicks continued to 
beg when they saw it nearby. The Drongo parents 
appeared to have got used to this arrangement too, and 
1 saw no more aggression directed towards the Bulbul 
by them. Indeed, on July 12 evening, two of the chicks 
were sitting fairly close together and I saw one of the 
Drongo adults and the Bulbul on either side, hardly two 
feet apart, feeding almost simultaneously. The Bulbul 
was still following the three Drongo chicks around (by 
now there was no doubt of their parentage) and feeding 
them when we departed on July 15. 

August 9, 200 1 JOANNA VAN GRUISEN 

B-4/1 98 Safdarjung Enclave 
New Delhi 1 10 029, India. 



15. REDISCOVERY OF THE YELLOW-THROATED BULBUL PYCNONOTUS 
XANTHOLAEMUSYN THE ANAIMALAI HILLS, WESTERN GHATS, SOUTH INDIA 



The Yellow-throated Bulbul ( Pycnonotus 
xantholaemus ) is uncommon and patchily distributed 
in South India (Grimmett et al. 1998, Ali and Ripley 
1971)- The species is classified as vulnerable because 



of extensive removal of its prime habitat, fuelwood 
extraction and quarrying (BirdLife International 2000, 
Collar et al. 1994). 

In the Anaimalai Hills, the Yellow-throated Bulbul 



160 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



was reported once by the Pollachi-Valparai road, just 
above Aliyar Dam (Kannan 1 992), but could not be found 
again in subsequent searches (Kannan 1998). Whistler 
and Kinnear (1932; also cited in Ali and Ripley 1971) 
mention a record of 1886 in the Anaimalai Hills by 
W. Davison. Unfortunately, the cited reference (Ibis, 
1886, p. 146) is wrong, so we could not examine that 
location for the occurrence of the Yellow-throated 
Bulbul. 

The favoured habitats of the Yellow-throated 
Bulbul are hill scrub and deciduous forests (Ali 1942). 
Thus, the Yellow-throated Bulbul should only be 
expected on the drier eastern slopes of the Anaimalai 
Hills. In studies of the avifauna of the western and 
central parts of the Anaimalai Hills, in which tropical 
rainforest, tea gardens or cardamom and coffee 
plantations are dominating, the Yellow-throated Bulbul 
was therefore missed (Kannan 1998, Vijayan 1978, Ali 
1969, Stonor 1946). 

We looked for the Yellow-throated Bulbul in March, 
2001 on the eastern slopes of the Anaimalai Hills. We 
found two birds some kilometres south of the location 
where Kannan (1992) observed it, near the open 

REFER 

Ali, S. (1942): The Birds of Mysore Part II. J. Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc 43: 318-341 . 

Ali, S. (1969): Birds of Kerala. Oxford University Press, Bombay. 
Pp. 311. 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1971): Handbook of the Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Vol. 6. Oxford University Press, Bombay. Pp. 94- 
95. 

BirdLife International (2000): Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx 
Edicions & BirdLife, Barcelona, Cambridge, UK. Pp. 420. 
Collar, N.J., M.J. Crosby & A.J. Stattersfield (1994): Birds to 
watch 2. BirdLife Conservation Series No 4. BirdLife, 
Cambridge, UK. Pp. 234, 281. 

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (1998): The Birds of the Indian 
Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London. Pp. 697-698. 



channel, which supplies the Aliyar Dam with water from 
the western side of the Anaimalai Hills. The birds 
behaved like a pair: sitting side by side, feeding together, 
and following each other. Some days later, we located 
three more specimens on the steep slopes of the hills 
near the road Pollachi-Valparai. It seemed to us that 
two of these birds, again possibly paired, were hunting 
the third one out of their territory. 

In the same area, three more species of bulbuls 
were found; the Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus 
jocosus, the Red-vented Bulbul P. cafer, and the Yellow- 
browed Bulbul P. luteolus. The Yellow-throated Bulbul 
had the lowest relative abundance of the four congeneric 
species. At Horsley Hills (Andhra Pradesh), the same 
bulbuls were recorded as sympatric by Subramanya and 
Prasad ( 1 996), but there the Yellow-throated Bulbul was 
the most abundant species. 

August 3, 2001 WOLFGANG BEISENHERZ 

University of Bielefeld, 
Department of Biology,Universitatsstr 25, 
33615 Bielefeld, Germany. 

Email; Didaktik@Biologie. Uni-Bielefeld. DE 

EN C E S 

Kannan. R. (1992): The yellowthroated bulbul ( Pycnonotus 
xantholaemus ) in the Anamalai Hills. Newsletter for 
Birdwatchers 32: 19. 

Kannan, R. (1998): Avifauna of the Anaimalai Hills (Western Ghats) 
of Southern India. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 95: 193-214 
Stonor, C.R. (1946): Field Notes on the Birds of the Anaimalai 
Hills (Cochin). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 46: 119-125. 
Subramanya, S. & J.N. Prasad (1996): Yellow-throated bulbuls at 
Horsley Hills. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 93: 55-58. 

Vijayan, V.S. (1978): Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and its 
adjacent areas. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 75: 888-900. 
Whistler, H. & N.B. Kinnear (1932): The Vernay scientific survey 
of the Eastern Ghats (Ornithological section). Pt II. J. Bombay 
nat. Hist. Soc. 35: 737-760. 



16. ASIAN BROWN FLYCATCHER MUSCICAPA DA UURICA AT MT. ABU, 
RAJASTHAN 



In the early afternoon of March 25, 2001 we found 
an Asian brown flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica near 
Sunset Point, Mt. Abu. The bird was busy catching 
insects attracted to a blossoming mango tree. It was 
oblivious to our presence and its attention was upon the 
tree for about ten minutes. It was quite easy to observe 
the bird as it made sallies to catch the insects in the 
lower tree canopy. 

Being familiar with the species in south India, we 
were able to identify it easily. It was brownish-grey 
above and off-white below (including undertail coverts), 



and had a uniform pale brown-grey wash across the 
breast and flanks. The whitish eye-ring around the 
striking large eyes and lore were prominent and distinctive 
even in the shade of the tree. The throat was 
conspicuously white. The bill was black, with the basal 
half of the lower mandible conspicuously pale. The legs 
and feet were blackish. 

According to Ali and Ripley ( 1 996), it is a partial 
migrant having a disjunct breeding range and its 
movements are imperfectly understood. As some birds 
reach their breeding grounds in the Himalaya in 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



161 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



April, the bird we observed was most likely on 
passage. 

As far as we have been able to ascertain, this 
individual is the first record for Rajasthan. The Asian 
Brown Flycatcher is not recorded from Rajasthan (Ali 
and Ripley 1 996, Grimmett et al. 1998). A record from 
central Rajasthan (Kazmierczak and van Perlo 2000) 
can be discounted as there is no basis to believe the 
species to be a summer visitor. If the species occurs in 

REFER 

Ali, S.. & S.D Ripley ( 1 996): Handbook of the Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Vol. 7, 2 nd edn. Oxford University Press, Delhi. 
Pp. 145. 

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Insripp (1998): Birds of the Indian 



Rajasthan, it is most likely a rare passage migrant 

August 9, 200 1 HARK1RAT SINGH SANGHA 

B-27, Gautam Marg, Hanuman Nagar, 
Jaipur 302 021, Rajasthan, India. 
DHIRENDRA DEVARSHI 
C-8, Prithviraj Road, 
Jaipur 302 001, 
Rajasthan, India. 

E N C E S 

Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London. Pp. 633-634. 
Kazmierczak, K. & B. van Perlo (2000): A Field Guide to the Birds 
of the Indian Subcontinent. Pica Press, Robertsbridge. 
Pp. 234-236. 



17. NEW SIGHT RECORDS OF PIED TIT PARUS NUCHAL1S IN RAJASTHAN 



The pied tit Parus nuchalis is endemic in India, 
confined to Rajasthan and Gujarat (Adam 1 873, Ali and 
Ripley 1987, Hussain et al. 1992, Tiwari and Rahmani 
1996, Tiwari 2001). According to Tiwari (2001), it is 
distributed in seven districts of Rajasthan, namely Pali, 
Jodhpur, Jalor, Sirohi, Ajmer, Jaipur and Nagaur. 

While surveying the biodiversity of protected areas 
(PAs) and other regions of mega-biodiversity in 
Rajasthan State, I came across this endemic bird thrice 
in two more districts of Rajasthan (Table 1). 



Table 1: Pied Tit sightings in Rajasthan 



Date 


Number 
of birds 
observed 


Locality 


District 


27.vii.2000 


2 


Sajjangarh Wildlife 
Sanctuary, 
on the way to 
Sajjangarh Fort 


Udaipur 


1 vii.2001 


2 


Forest Range 
Campus, Deola 


Udaipur 


2.viii.2001 


1 


Ruliyana village 
(between Bay and 
Danta villages) 


Sikar 



Sajjangarh Sanctuary has dry deciduous forests, 
with thorny and other shrubs like Anogeissus pendula, 
Acacia nilotica , A. leucophloea, A. Senegal, 
Dichrostachys cinerea and Euphorbia caducifolia 
in the foothill zone and middle slopes. Boswellia serrata 
and Lannea coromandelica are common tree species 
in the upper reaches of the Sanctuary. 



162 



Deola is a small village situated at the northwestern 
outskirts of Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary in Kotra 
tehsil, Udaipur district. There are dense forest patches 
in Kotra tehsil, but the environs of Deola village are 
highly degraded. Thorny species are not very common 
in this area, except Anona squamosa and Jatropha 
cure as. 

The pied tit has also been observed by Raza Tehsin 
(pers. comm.) in Jamunia-ki-Nal, near Udaipur city. This 
is a moist valley with a semi-perennial stream. The 
adjacent hills bear thorny forests. 

Ruliayana village is very near Harshnath 
hill, the highest point in Sikar district. This area is 
surrounded by many protected forest blocks, namely 
Deogarh, Rewasa-Jheen Mata, Bhoya-Dungri, and 
Raghunathgarh, which have thorny dry deciduous 
and scrub forests. Anogeissus pendula, Acacia 
nilotica, A. leucophloea, A. Senegal, and Euphorbia 
caducifolia are common here. Prosopis juliflora and 
Acacia tortilis are also present at many places, 
especially near the foothills. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I thank Shri R.G. Soni, PCCF; Shri D.P. Sharma, 
CF; Shri M.R. Punia, DFO; Shri O.C. Chandel, DFO; 
Shri R.S. Shekhawat, DFO; Shri Rahul Bhatnagar, 
Dy. CWLW; Shri Bhima Ram Choudhary, RFO for 
facilities. 

April 2, 2002 SATISH KUMAR SHARMA 

Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary, 
Kotra 307 025, District Udaipur, 
Rajasthan, India. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



REFERENCES 



Adam, R.M. (1873): Notes on the Birds of Sambhar Lake and its 
vicinity. Stray Feathers 7: 361-404. 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1987): Handbook of the Birds of India and 
Pakistan. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Vol. No. 9. 

Hussain, S.A., S.A. Akhtar & J.K. Tiwari (1992): Status and 
distribution of White-winged Black Tit Pams nuchalis in Kutch, 
Gujarat, India. Bird Conservation International, U.K., Vol. 2, 



pp. 115-122. 

Tiwari, J.K. & A.R. Rahmani (1996): Current status and nesting 
behaviour of the White-winged Black Tit Parus nuchalis in 
Kutch, Gujarat, India. Forktait (12): 95-102. 

Tiwari, J.K. (2001 ): Status and distribution of the White-naped Tit 
Parus nuchalis in Gujarat and Rajasthan. J Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc. 98(1): 26-30. 



18. ADDITIONS TO ‘THE BIRDS OF GOA’ (LAINER 1999) 



In ‘The Birds of Goa’ (Lainer 1999a, b), records 
up to July 1997 were incorporated. The present note 
includes all ‘new sightings’ made since then (up to July 
12, 2001) and corrects two inadvertent omissions. All 
observations, if not attributed otherwise, are by the 
author. For easy reference and in continuance of the 
original paper, the number in brackets after the serial 
number refers to the ‘Synopsis number’ as used by Ali 
and Ripley (1995). The common and scientific names 
follow Manakadan and Pittie (2001). Unconfirmed 
records of birds that are difficult to identity in the field 
are appended. 

ADDITIONS TO THE SYSTEMATIC LIST 

383. (9) Wedge-tailed Shearwater 
Puffinus pacificus (Gmelin) 

During one of my regular seabird watches, I 
observed a single pale morph specimen skimming low 
over the waves almost a kilometre off the coast of 
Anjuna (Bardez) on September 20, 1 998. Another pale 
morph was spotted c. 300 m offshore in perfect viewing 
conditions on July 12, 2001. Both birds were moving 
purposefully in a southerly direction. 

384. (73) Greater Flamingo 
Phoenicopterus ruber Linnaeus 

Frost, Manville and the author observed a single 
bird in a saline lagoon on Divar (Tiswadi), a large island 
in the inland-estuary of the Mandovi river, on November 
3 and 4, 2000. 

385. (155/156) Common Buzzard 
Buteo buteo Linnaeus 

Apparently a scarce, but regular winter visitor. 
There are dozens of records by reliable British, Dutch 
and Scandinavian bird watchers, in whose countries the 
Common Buzzard is a common sight. Pitt (1995) 
observed the first specimen at Baga (Bardez) in 
December 1994. 1 have seen single birds on three 
occasions in March and October, 1998. The Common 



Buzzard seems to favour the coastal belt, though there 
are two records from the midland plateau region and 
one from the Western Ghats strip. 

386. (171) Lesser Spotted Eagle 
Aquila pomarina Brehm 

A near adult specimen of this raptor was seen in 
November and December 1998 in the Neura wetlands 
(Tiswadi). Six immature birds were recorded from 
wetlands of the North Goa coastal belt, in October and 
November 1999 by Frost and this author. There are 
numerous sightings of doubtful value by visiting British 
and Scandinavian birders, nearly all from the coastal 
belt. 

387. (220) Amur Falcon 
Falco amurensis Radde 

Earlier known as the Red-legged Falcon 
F. vespertinus amurensis , the first sighting was of an 
adult male specimen at the coastal Dona Paula plateau 
(Tiswadi), in November 1 997 (Lynes 1 999). Since then, 
males, females and juveniles have been recorded by 
various observers and this author at Terakol (Pernem), 
Baga, Saligao, Fort Aguada (Bardez); Chorao, 
Carambolim and Corlim (Tiswadi), every year between 
November 8 and December 3. 

388. (3 1 3) Small Buttonquail 
Turnix sylvatica (Desfontaines) 

On December 9, 1 998, a single bird was observed 
foraging under bushes on a grassy, lateritic plateau 
between Arpora, Parra and Verla-Canca (Bardez), 
hardly 3 km from the coast (Frost pers. comm.). 

389. (437) Great Stone Plover 
Esacus recurvirostris (Cuvier) 

Two birds were seen by Frost, Manville and the 
author in flooded fallow paddy fields on Divar, on 
October 8, 1 998 and a single bird on January 1 7, 200 1 in 
a prawn farm on Chorao, both riverine islands in the 
inland-estuary of the Mandovi. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



163 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



390. (415) Rufous-necked Stint 
Calidris ruficollis (Pallas) 

A single bird was spotted among c. 1 000 waders, 
on Divar island (Tiswadi), on September 1 7, 1999 (Frost 
and Lainer, under prep.). This first sighting was 
confirmed when two birds with remnants of the breeding 
plumage were recorded on August 3, 2000, on the same 
mudflats and by the same observers. Further sightings 
of up to two birds on December 13, 2000, 1 7th January 
and 2nd February, 2001 at Shiroda (Ponda) and Divar 
suggest that this very easily overlooked species might 
be a more or less regular winter visitor. 

391. (418) Long-toed Stint 
Calidris subminuta (Middendorff) 

British bird watchers reported that two birds were 
present in freshly ploughed, irrigated paddy fields next 
to the inland-estuary of Mandovi river, at Sta. Cruz 
(Tiswadi) for two weeks in mid-November 2000 (Holt 
pers. comm.). In the morning of November 24, 2000, 1 
recorded two birds in the same locality, while Frost (pers. 
comm.) observed 7 specimens in the late afternoon. On 
December 13, 2000, a loose group of more than 8 birds 
was sighted in freshly ploughed paddy fields at Shiroda 
(Ponda). A specimen moulting into breeding plumage 
was seen in a saltpan in the inland-estuary of the Mandovi, 
between Panaji and Ribandar (Tiswadi) on April 29, 
2000 by Frost and this author. 

392. (459) White-winged Black Tern 
Clilidonias leucopterus (Temminck) 

One bird, moulting from adult summer to winter 
plumage, was sighted on Morjim beach (Pernem), on 
August 1 8, 1 998. Up to 5 birds in various stages of moult 
and in first summer plumage frequented mudflats on 
Divar Island between mid-September and the first week 
of October. All records were by Frost, Manville and 
this author. 

393. (459a) Black Tern Clilidonias niger (Linn.) 

A juvenile specimen was observed in the company 
of a White-winged Black Tern, two whiskered terns 
and a gull-billed tern on mudflats of Divar Island 
(Tiswadi) on September 13, 1999, and on mudflats in 
the estuary of the Chapora river (Bardez/Pernem), on 
October 15, 1999, by Frost and this author. The few 
previous records in India are either from inland waters 
or from the East Coast (Grimmett et al. 1998). 

394. (581) Lesser Cuckoo 
Cuculus poliocephalus Latham 

This cuckoo, previously relegated to the Appendix 
as unconfirmed, was collected by Saha and Dasgupta 



(1992) in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, in 
September 1 977. More recently, Frost, Manville and this 
author recorded a female or immature bird in the Bondla 
Wildlife Sanctuary, on October 29, 1999. 

395. (759) Oriental Broad-billed Roller 
Eurystomus orientalis (Linnaeus) 

On March 14, 2001, Frost (pers. comm.) with a 
small party of visiting British bird watchers observed 
two, possibly three, birds in semi-evergreen foothill forest 
in the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary (Canacona). 

396. (940) Bay-backed Shrike 
Lanins vittatus Valenciennes 

An immature bird, moulting into adult plumage, was 
seen on a wide cultivated forest clearing in the Cotigao 
Wildlife Sanctuary, in mid-October and mid-November 
1998, by Frost and this author. There are 8 sightings by 
visiting bird watchers at Arambol, Morjim (Pernem); 
Anjuna-Vagator, Baga (Bardez) and Carambolim 
(Tiswadi), the earliest dating back to December 1995 
(Welland 2000). All of these were in November, 
December and January. 

397. (943) Rufous-tailed Shrike 
Lanius isabellinus Hem. & Ehr. 

Holt (1996) observed a first-winter bird of the 
subspecies isabellinus near Santa Cruz (Tiswadi) in 
December 1996. Since then a number of sightings of 
the same race have been reported by Frost (pers. comm.) 
and visiting birders, from Baga (Bardez), Chorao and 
Divar (Tiswadi), during early November to early 
February. 

398. (1036) White-bellied Treepie 
Dendrocitta leucogastra Gould 

On April 20, 2001 a single specimen was spotted 
in very dense, but not tall evergreen forest, right on the 
eastern border of Goa towards Uttar Kanara 
(Karnataka), near the village of Kuveshi and above 
Dudhsagar waterfalls by Frost, Manville and this 
author. 

399. (1748) Tickell’s Thrush 
Turdus unicolor (Tickell) 

A male specimen was collected by Saha and 
Dasgupta (1992) in the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, in 
February 1978. 

400. (2044) Red-headed Bunting 
Emberiza bruniceps Brandt 

A single male was observed in the Neura wetlands 
(Tiswadi), in mid-December 1998 (Frost and Lainer, 



164 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



under prep.). 

Additions to the Appendix 

8. (32) Lesser Frigatebird 
Fregata arid (G.R. Gray) 

One juvenile bird seen c. 1.5 km off the Anjuna 
(Bardez) coast, on September 18, 1998. 



9. (412) Red Knot 
Calidris canutus (Linnaeus) 

A single bird seen among Sanderlings Calidris alba 
and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii on 
Morjim (Pernem) beach, on September 18, 1998. 

December 1 8, 200 1 HEINZ LAINER 

Praias de St. Antonio, Anjuna 403 509, Goa. 



REFERENCES 



Au, S. & S.D. Ripley ( 1 995): A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the 
Indian Subcontinent. Bombay Natural History Society / 
Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 183 pp. 

Frost, G. & H. Lainer (under prep): Sighting of an Eastern Little (or 
Red-necked) Stint Calidris ruficollis (Pallas) on India’s West 
Coast 

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp & T. Inskipp (1998): Birds of the Indian 
Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, A & C Black, London. 

888 pp. 

Holt, P. (1996): Sunbirder Tour to Goa, 6-20 December, 1996. 
(Unpublished). 

Lainer, H. (1999a): The Birds of Goa (Part I). J. Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc. 96(2): 203-220. 



Lainer, H. (1999b): The Birds of Goa (Part II). J. Bombay nat. Hist 
Soc. 96(3): 405-423. 

Lynes, M. ( 1999): Notes on birds recorded in Goa, November 1998 
and December 1998 - January 1999. (Unpublished). 
Manakadan, Ranjit & Aasheesh Pittie (200 1 ): Standardised common 
and scientific names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. 
Buceros 6(1): 1-37. 

Pitt, M.J. (1995): Goa, India, December 1994. (Unpublished), 
Saha, B.C. & J.M. Dasgupta ( 1992): Birds of Goa. Rec. zool. Soc. 
India , Occ. Paper No. 143. 

Welland, M. (2000): Notes on birds recorded in Goa, December 
1995 - January 1996 and November - December 1996. 
Unpublished. 



1 9. FURTHER CHELONIAN RECORDS FROM MIZORAM 
IN NORTHEASTERN INDIA 



The turtles and tortoises of Mizoram State in 
northeastern India were virtually unknown till recently 
(Choudhury 200 1 , Pawar and Choudhury 2000). In these 
works, however, the Champhai district in eastern 
Mizoram was not covered. The district was formerly 
part of Aizawl district. The entire area is hilly; the highest 
peak is Lengteng (2,141 m above msl). A field trip was 
made in February 200 1 , during which two species were 
recorded which have been summarised below. 

Brown Hill or Asian Brown Tortoise 
Manouria emys (Schlegel & Muller 1840) 

Two preserved shells were seen and examined at 
Lamzawl village, 1,000 m above msl. Both were 
reportedly obtained from the top of Lengteng (around 
2,000 m above msl) (23° 50' N, 93° 15' E) and their 
meat eaten. The measurements are given in Table 1. 

Earlier records from Mizoram were from Phura 
and Sangau in Saiha district (Choudhury 2001), and 
Dampa and Ngengpui Sanctuaries (Pawar and 
Choudhury 2000), all in western and southern Mizoram. 
These were the first records from the entire eastern 
part, that too from higher elevations (Fig. 1 ). The plastron 
pattern of these two specimens resembled the 
subspecies phayrei as did the specimens in Pawar and 
Choudhury (2000). However, those examined in 
Choudhury (2001) were similar to emys-phayrei 




Fig. 1 Map of Mizoram showing the places mentioned 
in the text 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



165 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Table 1: Measurements of specimens mentioned in the text (in cm) 



Specimen/Site 


SCL 


CCL 


SCW 


CCW 


PL(gt) 


PL(n-n) 


PW 


Remarks 


Manouria emys 


1. Lamzawl (Lengteng) 


46.4 


52.5 


34.5 


49.0 


46.0 


42.0 


31.5 




2. Lamzawl (Lengteng) 


39.7 


46.5 


30.0 


41.5 


39.5 


36.0 


25.0 




Melanochelys trijuga 


1. Ngopa 


25.5 


27.0 


18.0 


24.5 


24.0 


23.5 


15.5 


Weight 1.5 kg 



SCL=straight carapace length; CCL=curved carapace length; SCW=straight carapace width; CCW=curved carapace width; 
PL=plastron length; (gt)=greatest; (n-n)=notch to notch; PW=plastron width. 



intergrades. This significant variation in a relatively small 
area was noteworthy. 

Indian Black Turtle 

Melanochelys trijuga (Schweigger 1812) 

A live turtle was examined atNgopa town, 1,100m 
above msl. It was reportedly obtained from the nearby 
Tuivai river (around 450 m above msl; 23° 53' N, 
93° 10' E) and kept as a pet. The river also marks the 
boundary between Aizawl and Champhai districts in that 
stretch. The measurements are given in Table 1 . 

Earlier records from Mizoram were from Ngengpui 
Sanctuary and adjacent areas of south Mizoram (Pawar 
and Choudhury 2000). The present record was the first 



from the entire northern and eastern part of the State 
(Fig. 1). 

I would also like to correct a printing error in 
Choudhury (2001). In Tables 1 and 2, (gt) and (n-n) 
were only meant for PL and not SCW or CCW as 
printed (see headers). 

I would like to thank N.R. Pradhan, 
H. Tlangkhuma, Zomawia, Hakim and the Range Officer 
of Murlen for help during my field study. 

July 8, 2002 ANWARUDDIN CHOUDHURY 
The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, 
c/o The Assam Co. Ltd., Bamunimaidam, 
Guwahati 781 021, Assam, India. 



REFERENCES 



Choudhury, A. U. (2001): Some chelonian records from Mizoram. J. Bombay nat. Hist Soc. 98(2): 184-190. 

Pawar, S & B.C. Choudhury (2000): An inventory of chelonians from Mizoram, North-east India: new records and some observations on 
threats. Hamadiyad 25: 144-158. 

20. FIRST RECORD OF THE COPPERHEAD SNAKE ELAPHE RADIATA FROM 
MADHYA PRADESH 



The Copperhead Snake Elaphe radiata (Schlegel) 
has hitherto been reported only in Eastern Himalayas, 
northeast Orissa and Bengal. It has never been reported 
from Central India. However, during field excursions in 
Kanha National Park (22° 17' N, 80° 30' E) situated in 
the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, 
1 spotted this snake twice. 

The first time was on July 26, 2001 at c. 1130 hrs 
in the Supkhar locality of the National Park. The dead 
snake was photographed and measured. It was 2.13 m 
in length. The specimen which has been preserved in 
the museum of the Kanha National Park was identified 
by Mr. Eric D’Cunha as Elaphe radiata and confirmed 



by Mr. J.C. Daniel on November 9, 2001 . 

Another specimen was spotted during August in 
Parsatola locality with Mr. B.R. Nagpure, Range Officer, 
Kisli. These records not only extend the range of Elaphe 
radiata to eastern Madhya Pradesh, but also add a new 
reptile species to the fauna of Madhya Pradesh. 

I thank Mr. Eric D’Cunha and Mr. J.C. Daniel for 
identifying the snake. 

April 16,2002 H.S. NEGI 

Kanha Tiger Reserve, 
Mandla 481 661, 
Madhya Pradesh, India. 



21. NEW RECORD OF AN ENDEMIC SPECIES, PUNTIUS OPHICEPHALUS 
(C YPRINIFORMES: CYPRINIDAE) FROM TAMIL NADU PART OF WESTERN GHATS 

Puntius ophicephalus, a rare barb having very drainage of Kerala. It is characterized by an elongated 

restricted distribution, is known only from the Periyar Channa-Wke body. Raj (1941) described this species 



166 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Fig T Puntius ophicephalus 



from Kallar stream, a tributary of Pambiyar river 
(adjoining Periyar lake), Kerala. Later, Silas (1951) 
recorded it from a tributary of Manimala river ( Periyar 
river basin) at the base of Peermedu hills. For a long 
time, there was no further record of the species from 
these areas. Recently, Zacharias et al. (1996) 
rediscovered this species from Malapara at Periyar 
Tiger Reserve. So far, the distribution of the species 
had been restricted to the Periyar river basin, Kerala 
and it has been considered endemic to this basin. 
During a recent survey on fish habitats in the Western 
Ghats streams, a fairly good number of Puntius 
ophicephalus was collected from an east flowing 
stream, Surlitheertham, a tributary of Vaigai river, Tamil 
Nadu. 

Description: D 111/7; P 1/12-13; V 1/8; A 11/5; 
C 19; L. tr. scales IVi 3 'A. Body elongate, dorsal and 
ventral equally arched; its depth 3.83 to 4.52 times in 
standard length. Head short and dorsally compressed, 
head length 3.93 to 4.32 times in standard length. Mouth 
sub-inferior, lips moderately developed and lower labial 
fold interrupted. Barbels two pairs, maxillary pair longer 
than rostral pair, its length 1 .07 to 1 .39 times in eye 
diameter. Dorsal fin inserted nearer to tip of snout than 
the caudal fin base. Ventral fin originates just behind 
the origin of dorsal fin. Lateral line straight and complete, 
with 42-44 scales; predorsal scales 15. Further 
morphometric characters are given in Table 1. 

Colour: In life; dorsal black, flanks rich golden 
colour. Opercle has a mark of dark olivaceous-green 
on cheek. Eyes green. A dark band runs along the lateral 
line, which is composed of concentrated fine black spots 
on the base of lateral line. Belly and abdomen silvery 
white. Pectoral fins dark green with orange tinge. Dorsal 
pelvic, anal and caudal fins orange. After preservation: 
dorsal blackish-brown up to lateral line, dark above and 
lighter lateral; ventral pale yellowish-white. All fins are 
dull white. 

Habitat and Ecology: The Surlitheertham stream 
is a tributary of the east flowing Vaigai river. The 
sampling site is located 7 km from Kambam town in 



Table 1 : Morphometric data of Puntius ophicephalus 



Morphometric characters: 
Proportions 


Range 


Mean 


Standard 

Deviation 


Standard length / 


3.83-4.52 


4.19 


0.14 


Body depth 
Standard length / 


3 93-4.32 


4.10 


0.20 


Head length 
Head length / 


3.55-4 42 


4.14 


0.25 


Eye diameter 
Head length / 


2.29-2.70 


2.48 


0.14 


Inter-orbit width 
Head length / 


3.04-3 55 


3.18 


0.15 


Snout length 
Head length / 


1.17-1.40 


1.26 


0.07 


Pectoral fin length 
Head length / 


1.12-1.55 


1.35 


0.12 


Pelvic fin length 
Head length / 


3.10-3.82 


3.48 


0.28 


Maxillary Barbels 
Maxillary Barbels / 


1.07-1.39 


1.19 


0.11 


Eye diameter 
Standard length / 


4.85-5.50 


5.17 


0.22 


Pectoral fin length 
Standard length / 


5.13-6.08 


5.57 


0.30 


Pelvic fin length 
Standard length / 


2.06-2.17 


2.12 


0.14 


Predorsal distance 
Pelvic to vent/ 


6.59-8 76 


7.50 


0.86 


Distance to Anal fin 
Length of caudal 
peduncle / Height of 
Caudal peduncle 


1.35-1.70 


1.56 


0.11 



Theni district (8° 5 F 39.0" N, 77° 1 8' 40.2" E). It is an 
important local picnic spot. Downstream it is highly 
disturbed by bathing and pilgrimage activities. 
Specimens were collected around 4 km above the falls 
at an altitude of 545 m above msl, with a riparian cover 
of 40%. Not a single specimen could be collected in the 
downstream area. P. ophicephalus prefers larger pools 
and riffle habitats in forested streams. Adults prefer 
pools with thick vegetational cover. It hides in the 
bedrocks and boulder undercut. Juveniles prefer riffle 
(swift flowing) habitats. 

Distribution: Periyar drainage in Kerala. Kallar, 
a tributary of Pambiyar river south of Pachakani 
estate ( Jayaram 1 999); Mundakayam stream, a tributary 
of Manimala river at the base of Peermedu Hills 
(Menon 1999) and Malapara stream in Periyar Tiger 
Reserve (Zacharias et al. 1 996). This species has been 
recorded for the first time from the east flowing 
Surlitheertham stream in Vaigai river (east flowing), in 
Tamil Nadu. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



167 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The senior author (M.A.) is grateful to the Director, 
National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, Lucknow 
for financial assistance under ICAR/NATP Project. J.A. 
Johnson thanks the Dept, of Science and Technology, New 
Delhi for the Young Scientist Fellowship. C. Vijayakumar 
thanks the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research 
(CS1R) for a Senior Research Fellowship. We also thank 
Dr. P.T. Cherian, Officer-in-charge and Dr. K. Rema Devi, 
Scientist from the Zoological Survey of India, Southern 
Regional Station, Chennai for their cooperation. 



July 24, 2002 M. ARUNACHALAM 

J.A. JOHNSON 
C. VIJAYAKUMAR 
P. SIVAKUMAR 
A. MANIMEKALAN 
R. SORANAM 
A. SANK ARAN ARAYAN AN 
Sri Paramakalyani Centre 
for Environmental Sciences, 
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, 
Alwarkurichi 627 412, 
Tamil Nadu, India. 



REFERENCES 



Jayaram, K.C. ( 1999): The freshwater fishes of the Indian region. 

Narendra Publishing 1 louse, Delhi, India. Pp 55 1 . 

Menon, A.G.K. (1999): Checklist - Freshwater fishes of 
India. Rec zool Surv. India , Occ. Paper No. 175. 
Pp. 366. 

Raj, B.S. ( 1941 ): Two new cyprinid fishes from Travancore, South 



India, with remarks on Barbus (Puntius) micropogon. Rec. 
Indian Mus. 43. 375-386. 

Silas, E.G. ( 1951 ): Fishes from High Range of Travancore. J. Bombay 
nat. Hist Soc. 50: 323-330. 

Zacharias. V.J., A.K.. Bhardwaj & P.C. Jacob (1996): Fish fauna of 
Periyar Tiger Reserve. J Bombay nat Hist. Soc. 93: 39-43. 



22. SEXUAL DIMORPHISM OF THE PIG FACE BREAM 

LETHRINUS RUBRIOPERCULATUS (SATO) FROM SOUTHWEST COAST OF INDIA 



Heterosexual animals often exhibit sexual 
dimorphism in their morphology. However, since it is 
not uncommon or taxonomically important, only a few 
observations have been made on sexual dimorphism in 
freshwater fishes, such as Puntius filamentosus 
(Thobias 1974), Tetraodon travancoricus ( Inasu 1993) 
and marine fishes, such as Narcine timlei (Waghray 
1985), Priacanthus hamrur (Tessy and Inasu 1998a), 
and Pomadasys maculatus (Tessy and Inasu 1998b). 
Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (Sato), a carnivore, inhabits 
the coastal seas and is commercially exploited in the 
southwest coast. Day (1958) described the genus 
Lethrinus based on 8 species. Fischer and Bianchi 
(1984) described 18 species of Lethrinus, but sexual 
dimorphism was not described for any of them. 

During a study on the biology of perches on the 
southwest coast, about 43 specimens of the Pig Face 
Bream Lethrinus rubrioperculatus were caught in an 
area 8° 26' N-76° 5 1 1 E to 7° 4 1 ' N-77° 1 1 E (Vizhinjam 
to Kanyakumari) within a depth range of 39-54 m. 
Samples were collected by a bottom trawl (mesh size 
30 mm at the cod end) by the trawler Matsya Varshini 
during January - March, 2001 . 

Morphometric parameters such as Total Length, 
Standard Length, Head Length, Caudal Peduncle Length, 
Caudal Peduncle Width, Eye Diameter and Inter-orbital 
width were measured and compared in the two sexes. 
Sexual dimorphism was exhibited by Lethrinus 



rubrioperculatus (Sato) (Figs la, lb). The females are 
larger than the males in all the observed morphometric 
parameters. Moreover, body weight is greater than the 
males of the same age group (Table !)• 



Table 1 Mean morphometric parameters (in cm) 
of Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (Sato) 



Morphometric parameters 


Male 


Female 


Total Length 


32.40 


33.40 


Standard Length 


25.40 


26.00 


Total Weight (gm) 


489.50 


550.50 


Head Length 


8.25 


8.85 


Inter-orbital Width 


2.50 


3.00 


Caudal Peduncle Length 


3.45 


3.95 


Height of Caudal Peduncle 


2.65 


3.10 



The upper jaw of males extends forward and is 
broader than in females (Figs 2a, 2b). The 
dermosphenoticum in males is conspicuously protruding, 
whereas it is flattened and not so protruding in females 
(Figs 2a, 2b). There are two rows of large scales 
dorsoventrally located above the pectoral fin base in 
males, while there is a single row of scales in females 
(Figs 2a, 2b). 

The posterior part of the soft rays of the dorsal fin 
is more filamentous and protrudes above the upper 
margin in males, while it is not so filamentous and 



168 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 





Fig. 1 : Lethrinus rubrioperculatus (Sato) a: Male; b: Female 






Fig. 3: Dorsal and anal fin soft rays of 
Lethrinus rubrioperculatus, a: Male; b. Female 



in females. The scales at the point of commencement 
of lateral line also differ between the sexes (Fig. 2). 
The distance between lateral line and caudal peduncle 
profile, and the caudal peduncle width and length are 
greater in females than in males (Table 1). 

Contrary to our observations, the soft rays of dorsal 
and anal fin were recorded to be more filamentous in 
females in Priacanthus hamrur (Tessy and Inasu 
1998a) and Pomadasys maculatus (Tessy and Inasu 
1998b). 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank Dr. V.S. Somvanshi, Director General, 
Fishery Survey of India for facilities and encouragement. 
S. Ramachandran thanks the Indian Council of 
Agricultural Research (ICAR) for financial assistance. 



Fig. 2: Morphological difference in the head of 
Lethrinus rubrioperculatus, a Male; b: Female 

protruding in females (Figs 3a, 3b). Soft rays of pectoral 
fin and anal fin are also more filamentous in males than 
in females. Interspinous membrane in females occupies 
a larger area between the two soft rays than in males 
(Figs 3a, 3b). 

Inter-orbital width and eye diameter is greater in 
females than in males (Table 1 ). The opercular margin 
of males has a sharply marked edge, while it is rounded 



June 6, 2001 S. RAMACHANDRAN 

K.P. PHILIP 
Y. THARUMAR 
Cochin Base of Fishery Survey of India, 
Post Box No. 853, Kochangadi, 
Cochin 682 005, Kerala, India. 

M. NARAYANAN 
St. Xavier’s College, 
Palayamkottai 627 002, 
Tamil Nadu, India. 



REFERENCES 



Day, F. (1958): The Fishes of India. Today & Tomorrow’s Book 
Agency, Delhi. Pp. 778. 

Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (Eds) (1984): FAO species identification 
sheet for fishery purposes. Western Indian Oceans, (Fishing 
Area 5 1 ) Vol. II, FAO, Rome. 

Inasu, N.D. (1993): Sexual dimorphism of freshwater puffer fish 



Tetraodon (Monotretus) travancoricus Hora & Nair, collected 
from Trichur district, Central Kerala. J. Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc. 90: 523-524. 

Tessy J., Mandy&N.D. Inasu ( 1 998a): Sexual dimorphism of marine 
perch Priacanthus hamrur. J Bombay nat Hist Soc. 95(1): 
132-134. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



169 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Tessy J., Mandy & N.D. Inasu (1998b): Sexual dimorphism in a 
marine perch Pomadasys maculatus (Bloch). J. Bombay nat. 
Hist. Soc. 95(3): 514-517. 

Thobias, M R. (1974): Observations on the morphological variations 
in Puntius filamentosus (Val.). Family Cyprinidae, with a 



redescription of the species. Journ. Inland Fish. Soc. India : 
45-50. 

Waghray, Sarala ( 1 985): Olfactory organ and its sexual dimorphism 
in the electric ray Narcine timlei (Day). Indian J. Fish. 32(1): 
148-151. 



23. RECORD OF STR UMIGENYS EMMA E (EMERY) (FORMICIDAE: MYRMICINAE) 
FROM BANGALORE, KARNATAKA AND A KEY TO INDIAN SPECIES 



Strumigenys - the largest Dacetine genus - 
comprises c. 169 species that are distributed in all the 
zoogeograph ical regions except the Palearctic (Bolton 
1995). Only two species of Strumigenys have so far 
been reported from India (Bolton 1995; Bingham 1903), 
namely S. godeffroyi Mayr and S. smythiesii Forel 
which were originally described in the genus Epitritus 
Emery, and later placed in genus Quadristruma by 
Brown ( 1 949). Quadristruma is a small genus containing 
only two species, Q. eurycera (Emery) and Q. emmae 
(Emery). Bolton (1983) considered that the genus 
Quadristruma Brown differs from Strumigenys only 
in the number of antennal segments and suggested that 
Quadristruma Brown would eventually fall into 
synonymy with Strumigenys Smith. Q. eurycera is 
known only from New Guinea. Q. emmae has been 
recorded widely from tropical and temperate regions of 
the world, and is thought to be of Afrotropical origin 
(Bolton 1983). 

Bolton (1999) ultimately synonymized 
Quadristruma with Strumigenys and included 
Q. emmae and Q. eurycera in Strumigenys. There is 
a single record of Q. emmae from India, but no locality 
is mentioned (Bolton 1983). 1 now report Strumigenys 
emmae from Bangalore, India. 

Strumigenys emmae (Emery) 

(Fig. 1 a-b) 

Diagnostic features: Total length 1.86 mm (Fig. 
la), HL: 0.48 mm, HW: 0.39, Cl: 81.25, ML: 0.15, 
Ml: 31.25, SL: 0.21, SI: 52.5, AL: 0.48 and PW: 0.22. 

Mandibles linear, strongly curved and each with a 
strong fork of two long spiniform teeth in a vertical series. 
Anterior clypeal margin broad, projecting well beyond 
the mandibular bases on each side with numerous, small, 
spatulate to spoon-shaped hairs (Fig. 1 b). Antennae 4- 
segmented, the scape narrow basally, but broadeningto 
mid-length, then narrowing again to the apex. Eyes very 
small, situated just above the ventral scrobe margin. 
Pronotum more or less flat dorsal ly, anteriorly rounding 
into the sides. Metanotal grooves absent. Dorsal alitrunk 
and upper half of the propodeal declivity reticulate- 
punctate. Pronota! humeri each with a straight clavate 




Fig 1: Strumigenys emmae worker, a. Body in profile, 
b Head in front view 

hair. In profile, pedicel segments with spongiform 
appendages. Base of first gastral tergite with a continuous 
row of basal costulae. Petiole, post petiole and gaster with 
short, narrowly clavate hairs. Colour yellowish-brown. 

Material Examined: 1 worker, india, Karnataka, 
Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science Campus, Coll: 
Deepalakshmi & Charusheela, 1997. 

Distribution: Flawaii, Guam, Florida, Puerto Rico, 
West Indies, Cuba, Surinam, Sumatra, Singapore and 
New Guinea (Brown 1 949), Philippines, New Hebrides 
and Austral ia ( Wi Ison and Taylor 1 967) Bahamas (Kempf 
1972), West Africa and Ghana (Bolton 1973), India, 
Malaysia, Sulawesi and Equatorial Guinea (Bolton 1983). 

Remarks: S. emmae (Emery) is distinguished 
from other Myrmicinae by its 4 segmented antennae. 

Key to Indian species of Strumigenys Smith 
(Modified from Bingham 1903) 

1. Antennae with 4 segments, mandible with 2 teeth, length 

less than 2 mm emmae (Emery) 

Antennae with 6 segments, mandible with 3 teeth, length 
more than 2 mm 2 

2. Pronotum punctured, opaque, mandible with 3 teeth of 

which the apical is smallest godeffroyi Mayr 



170 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



— Pronotum not punctured, smooth and shining, mandible 
with 3 teeth smythiesii Forel 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I am grateful to Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar, for 
providing facilities and encouraging me to undertake this 
work. 1 also thank Dr. Barry Bolton for sending his 
reprints which were relevant for this study and 

REFER 

Bingham, C.T. (1903): The Fauna of British India including Ceylon 
and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. IF Ants and Cuckoo-wasps 
(London). 

Bolton, B. (1973): The ant genera of West Africa: a synonymic 
synopsis with keys. Bull Br Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 27: 
317-368. 

Bolton, B. (1983): The Afrotropical Dacetine ants. Bull Br Mus. 

(Nat. Hist.) Entomol 46: 267-416. 

Bolton, B. (1995): A new general Catalogue of the ants of the World 
(Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press), 504 pp. 



Prof. T.C. Narendran for critically examining the 
manuscript. 

July 6, 2001 THRESIAMMA VARGHESE 

Centre for Ecological Sciences, 
Indian Institute of Science, 
Bangalore 560 012, 
Karnataka, India. 
Email: thresi@ces.iisc.ernet.in 

E N C E S 

Bolton, B. (1999): Ant genera of the Tribe Dacetonini 
(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 33: 1639-1689. 
Brown, W.L. (1949): Revision of the ant tribe Dacetini. III. Epitritus 
Emery and Quadristruma new genus. Trans. Am. Entomol. 
Soc. 75: 143-151. 

Kempf, W.W. (1972): Catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao 
Neotropical. Stud. Entomol. (N.S.) 15: 3-344, 

Wilson, E.O. & R.W. Taylor (1967): The ants of Polynesia 
(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pac Insects Monogr. 
14: 1-109. 



24. ON THE OCCURRENCE OF MARUMBA CRISTATA (BUTLER 1 875), 
LEPIDOPTERA: SPHINGIDAE, IN SHIMLA, HIMACHAL PRADESH 



In an earlier paper on the Hawkmoths 
(Sphingidae) of the Kumaon Himalaya (Smetacek 
1994), Marumba cristata (Butler) was noted as a new 
record for the area. Prior to that study, D’ Abrera ( 1 986), 
Bell and Scott (1937) and Hampson ( 1 892) had recorded 
this moth from Sikkim eastwards, with a global 
distribution extending to “China, Taiwan, Peninsular 
Malaya, Sumatra, Borneo, ?Java and ?Palawan” 
(D’Abrera 1986). Along this range the latter author 
recognized four subspecies. 

Bell and Scott (1937) bred a large number of 
Hawkmoths in India. One of the sites where this work 
was carried out was Mussoorie and the Dun valley in 
theGarhwal Himalaya prior to 1937. They did not obtain 
M. cristata in that area, nor did the earlier collectors, 
such as Rev. J.H. Hocking, Mr. Graham-Young, Majors 
Yerbury and Harford in Garhwal and present day 
Himachal Pradesh. In the Himalaya west of Nepal, 
Mussoorie, Shimla, Kulu and Dharamsala were by far 
the best worked localities for moths, with fewer records 
from other localities such as Almora, Nainital, Dalhousie 
and Murree. Major Harford, in particular, collected 
Hawkmoths in Shimla but did not record M. cristata 
there, although he obtained rarities such as Thamnoecha 
uniformis Butler and Langia zenzeroides Moore. 

In a paper on the Hawkmoths of Kumaon 
(Smetacek 1994), I suggested that this moth might have 
extended its range to Kumaon in the period subsequent 



to Bell and Scott’s (1937) study. However, since 
Kumaon is east of the localities surveyed in the previous 
studies mentioned above, there was a possibility that 
M. cristata had been established in Kumaon for 
centuries, as a detailed study of the moth fauna of this 
area had not been undertaken earlier. The confirmation 
of the possibility of cristata' s recent range extension, 
obviously, would lie in its appearance in localities 
surveyed in the second half of the 19 th and first half of 
the 20 th centuries. 

On July 17, 1993,1 found the right forewing of a 
specimen of Marumba cristata (4. 1 cm long) on a hotel 
balcony on the western outskirts of Shimla town. The 
moth had evidently been attracted by the outdoor lights, 
which had been left on all night, and had fallen prey to 
a bird or gecko there. The wing bears over ten beak or 
tooth marks along the costa and at the base, none of 
which punctured the wing. The wing is whole and in 
good condition except the discal area where some scales 
have been rubbed off. Most of the markings beyond 
the discal line are clearly distinguishable, enabling it to 
be definitely placed as a wing of M. cristata. 

I was unable to visit Shimla subsequently at a 
suitable season. This single record is of importance, even 
if the specimen was merely a straggler, since previous 
workers had not recorded it there. Therefore, it appears 
to have moved into the area recently, i.e. since Bell and 
Scott (1937) completed their studies in Mussoorie. 



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171 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Moving from east to west, Mussoorie is roughly 
100 km west of Bhimtal in Kumaon. Bhimtal is the 
westernmost site recorded for cristata (Smetacek 1 994). 
This species has not been recorded from Mussoorie, 
but its appearance in Shimla (roughly 1 00 km northwest 
of Mussoorie and 200 km west of Bhimtal) suggests 
the existence of cristata in the area between Bhimtal 
and Shimla, probably around Mussoorie. 

In Kumaon, cristata has been recorded in all 
the three ranges of the Himalaya. In the outermost 
range, where populations have been monitored for over 
two decades, it is a common, well-established species, 

REFER 

Bell, T.R.D. & F.B. Scott (1937): The Fauna of British India 
including Ceylon and Burma. Moths Vol. V. Taylor & Francis, 
Fondon. 

D’Abrera, B. (1986): Sphingidae Mundi. E.W. Classey Ftd., 
Faringdon, U.K. 



which can become very common if there are no forest 
fires and rainfall is heavy for several consecutive 
years. 

The present record confirms that at least some 
Hawkmoths have extended their range westwards along 
the Himalaya during the second half of the twentieth 
century. 

February 7, 2002 PETER SMETACEK 

Jones Estate, Bhimtal P.O., 
Nainital 263 136, 
Uttaranchal, India. 

E N C E S 

Hampson, G.F. (1892): The Fauna of British India including Ceylon 
and Burma. Moths Vol. I. Taylor & Francis, Fondon. 
Smetacek, P. (1994): An annotated list of the hawkmoths 
(Fepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Kumaon, N. India: a probable case 
of faunal drift. Rec. zool. Surv. India, Occ. Paper 156 : 1-55. 



25. PLEURONA FALCATA WALKER, AN ADDITION TO THE NOCTUID FAUNA 
OF THE INDIAN MAINLAND 



In the Indian sub-region, the species Pleurona 
falcata Walker (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) has been 
reported from Burma (Myanmar) and the Andaman 
Islands (Hampson 1894), but not from the Indian 
mainland. A single specimen was recorded by this 
author in the Kumaon Himalaya. This record extends 
the known distribution of this moth considerably 
westwards and northwards. It was previously known 
from tropical areas, but the present record is from 
c. 29° 20’ 43" N. 

The following is a description of the specimen: 
Pleurona Walker 

1866. Cat. Lep. Het. Brit. Mus. Lond. 35: 564. 

Pleurona falcata Walker 

1866. Cat. Lep. Het. Brit. Mus. Lond. 35: 564. 

Material Examined: 1 ex. (female): 20.xi . 1 998, 
Jones Estate, Bhimtal, Kumaon 1,500 m at MV light. 
Leg. & coll. Peter Smetacek. 

Forewing Length: 17 mm. 

Expanse: 38 mm (Hampson 1894 & mihi). 

Distribution: Burma, Andamans (Hampson 1894). 

Remarks: This taxon should not be confused with 
Chilkasa falcata Swinhoe, which Hampson (1894) 
included under Pleurona, proposing the new name 
Pleurona perhamata, since Pleurona falcata was 
preoccupied by the species being discussed here. The 
genus Chilkasa Swinhoe was subsequently resurrected 
in recent works such as Barlow ( 1 982); hence Chilkasa 

172 



falcata is a valid name but does not refer to the species 
being discussed here. 

The specimen is in perfect condition. It matches 
the description and Fig. 310 in Hampson (1894) except 
in the following points: 

1 . The ground colour on the recto surface is dark 
purplish-brown, not bright red-brown. 

2. On the hindwing recto, the series of submarginal 
specks mentioned by Hampson are part of a crenulate 
line. 

3 . On the hindwing verso, the medial and postmedial 
lines are clear and sharply defined, not indistinct. 

4. On the hindwing verso, the submarginal line is 
crenulate from the inner margin for two thirds of its 
length and the remaining third is straight to the costa. 

The breeding status of this moth in the Bhimtal 
valley is uncertain, since this is the only specimen 
recorded in over two decades of monitoring moth 
populations at this site. However, it is certainly from a 
breeding population within Indian borders, since it is 
inconceivable that the present specimen could have 
passed its early stages in Myanmar and then traveled to 
Bhimtal. It is more likely that breeding populations of 
this moth will be found at low elevation along the 
Himalaya, at least as far west as Kumaon, particularly 
in the Terai and Bhabar zones, since this moth is primarily 
a tropical species. 

It seems that the present specimen was a straggler 
from low elevation attempting to disperse the species. 
Its appearance in late November further indicates that 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



it is a low elevation species, since there are very few 
locally established moths on the wing at that time at 
1,500 m elevation. 

In recent years, a number of typically Indo- 
Malayan Lepidoptera have been added to the known 
fauna oftheKumaon Himalaya (Smetacek 1994, 1995, 
1998). While the paucity of comparative material from 
the 19 th and first half of the 20 th centuries from this 
area makes it uncertain whether the new records are 
recent arrivals or have been established here since the 
records began, in some cases it has been possible to 
suggest that some hawkmoths and at least one butterfly 

REFER 

Barlow, H. (1982): An Introduction to the Moths of SE Asia. 

Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 

Hampson. G.F. ( 1 894): The Fauna of British India including Ceylon 
and Burma, Moths II Taylor and Francis, London. 

Smetacek, P. (1994): An Annotated List of the hawkmoths of 
Kumaon, N. India (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae): A Probable 
Case of Faunal Drift. Rec. zool. Surv India, Occ. Paper 156: 



(Smetacek 1994, 1995) are recent arrivals. In the case 
of Pleurona falcata , 1 would venture to suggest that it 
is a relatively recent arrival, probably sometime during 
the 20 th century, since extensive work by a number of 
workers in the eastern Himalaya and the hills of 
northeast India during the 1 9 th and 20 th centuries failed 
to discover this moth. 

February 7, 2002 PETER SMETACEK 

Jones Estate, Bhimtal P.O., 
Nainital 263 136, 
Uttaranchal, India. 

; N C E s 
1-55. 

Smetacek, P. (1995): A new altitudinal and range record for the 
Copper Flash butterfly Rapala pherelimus Hewitson 
(Lycaenidae). J Bombay nat. Hist Soc. 92: 127-128. 
Smetacek, P. (1998): On an unusual Endoclyta (Lepidoptera: 
Hepialidae) from Kumaon, in the northwest Himalaya, India. 
J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 95: 136-137. 



26. CORYMICA WALKER, LEPIDOPTERA: GEOMETRIDAE, IN THE KUMAON 
HIMALAYA, WITH THE DESCRIPTION OF A NEW FORM OF C. DEDUCATA 
CAUSTOLOMARIA MOORE 



Corymica Walker is a small genus of Geometrid 
moths that occurs from the Indian subcontinent 
northward to Korea and Japan, and eastward to 
Sulawesi and Papua New Guinea. These moths are 
predominantly yellow, with relatively long palps and a 
distinctively shaped forewing, whose chief features are 
an acute apex and a dorsal margin with the distal half 
highly excised. Only males bear a large hyaline fovea 
near the base of the forewing. 

Hampson ( 1 895) and Prout (1915) assigned three 
species to the genus, while Wehrli (1940) took 
vesicular ia Walker out of the synonymy in which these 
two authors placed it, and treated it as a valid species, 
raising the number of species to four. Wehrl i ( 1 940) also 
suggested that the taxa treated as subspecies of 
specularia Moore would probably prove to be a good 
species, which would increase the total number of 
species in the genus. 

Hitherto, no moths of this genus had been reported 
from the Kumaon Himalaya, although vitrigera Butler 
was described from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. 
This taxon was treated as a subspecies of C. specularia 
by Prout (1915) and as a synonym of the same by 
Hampson (1895), whose typical form is known from 
Bengal and the eastern Himalaya. So vitrigera or 
specularia was to be expected in the Kumaon 



Himalaya, which lies between the two type localities. 

However, in view of the observation by Wehrli 
(1940) on the subspecies of specularia , it is possible 
that vitrigera is, in fact, a good species, in which case 
both specularia and vitrigera may occur in Kumaon, 
the latter probably in the main Himalayan range, since 
the type locality, Dharamsala, is in the main range. 

Location 

The present study was carried out in the Kumaon 
Himalaya in the state of Uttaranchal. All records are 
from the Jones Estate in the Bhimtal Valley, 24 km from 
the district headquarters of Nainital. The elevation is 
c. 1,500 m above msl. The site lies in the outermost 
range of the Himalaya and constitutes the micro- 
watershed between the Bhimtal and Sattal lake systems. 

The area is well forested, with the Himalayan oak 
( Quercus leucotrichophora A. Camus) and chir pine 
( Pinas roxburghii Sarg.) as nodal species, interspersed 
with elements of low elevation deciduous species, such 
as Sapium insigne Trim, and Erythrina L. spp. Other 
species include Mallotus philippinenis Muell. Arg., 
Bauhinia L. spp., Phyllanthus L. sp., Pistacia L. and 
Ricinus L. In addition, a large number of exotic trees 
and shrubs, such as tea Nerium L., and mango 
Mangifera L. make the area botanically diverse. 



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173 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Climate 

The climate is subtropical, with a maximum 
summer temperature of c. 36 °C in late May and June 
and a minimum of 0 °C in January, although in some 
years the temperature does not fall below 6 °C. Rainfall 
is heavy, especially during the southwest monsoon from 
June to September. Relative humidity during this period 
is around 40%, while in March and April, it is generally 
less than 1 5%. Relative humidity mentioned in this paper 
was measured indoors unless otherwise mentioned, since 
it tends to vary greatly outdoors over short periods of 
time. 

Flying Time 

Members of the Genus Corymica have been 
recorded in different years between March 1 and April 
6 and again from J une 2 continuously to November 1 4. 
During the warmer period of the year, these moths are 
not on the wing during most of April and May, when 
relative humidity varies between 1% and 20%, except 
on overcast days when it rises to 30% outdoors for a 
short while. It appears that these moths are not on the 
wing when humidity is less than 1 0%. 

Attractants 

Moth populations have been monitored at the main 
study site in Jones Estate near Bhimtal for three decades. 
To study Corymica, the main attractant used was 
artificial light, a petromax during the early 1970s, and 
ordinary tungsten filament lamps of 60 W and 100 W, 
but most often mercury vapour lamps of 125 W or 
160 W. These moths have not been recorded at flowers 
or other sources of sugar. 

Resting attitude 

All members of this genus rest with the wings 
outspread. The forewings are contorted along their 
length, so that the costa is held furthest off the substrate 
and the remainder of the forewings slopes down to the 
hindwings, which are held level and close to the substrate. 
In this position, they seem to resemble a dried yellow 
leaf, curled along the edge, although the imitation is only 
a rough one and is not convincing if the moth is viewed 
away from a suitable backdrop. 

These moths are proficient walkers and, upon 
settling, often walk a few centimetres with the wings 
outspread until they are satisfied and then settle down. 
It seems possible that they move about in order to settle 
in a certain position relative to the light source. 

Flight 

I he flight is weak and fluttering. These moths are 
incapable of gliding flight. They settle frequently. After 



settling, if they are disturbed, they fly off but settle again 
a short distance away after a brief flight, usually lasting 
less than half a minute. 

Systematics 

Four specimens of Corymica specular ia collected 
during the 1 970s were taken by the Late Fred Smetacek 
Sr. The remaining specimens were taken by the author. 
All specimens are in the author’s collection. 

Corymica Walker 

1860. Cat. Lep. Het. Brit. Mus. 20: 230. 

Corymica arnearia Walker 

1860. Cat. Lep. Flet. Brit. Mus. 20: 231. 

Material examined: 2 exs. : 16.vii. 1998 (female); 

4. viii.2000 (male). 

Forewing Length: 13 mm (mihi). 

Expanse: 28 mm (male) (Hampson 1 895); 30 mm 
(mihi). 

Distribution: Khasis (Meghalaya); Thyetmyo; 
Upper Tenasserim (Myanmar); Borneo (Hampson 
1 895); N. India to Borneo, W. China, Korea, Nagasaki 
(Japan) (Prout 1915); also eastern marches of Tibet; 

5. China; Taiwan and Hainan. Flight period June (Wehrli 
1940). 

Remarks: The type specimen is from Sarawak 
and there appears to be no reported variation over this 
moth’s vast range. 

The present record extends the known distribution 
of the species westwards to Kumaon. On the whole, it 
appears to be a low elevation species, with records from 
Nagasaki in Japan and Guangdong in China. 

It is noteworthy that only females have been 
recorded at Jones Estate. These two specimens are 
almost certainly individuals that journeyed quite far from 
their normal breeding grounds in the course of dispersing 
the species. The main population will probably be found 
in the Bhabar belt along the foot of the Himalaya and 
Jones Estate, at 1,500 m, is probably as high as the 
species ventures. 

The specimens examined match Hampson’s ( 1 895) 
description, except in the matter of the medial spot on 
the forewing costa noted by him, which is lacking in the 
specimen examined, as well as in the illustration in 
Hampson (Fig. 101). There is a dark speck at the end 
of the cell on each wing in the specimens examined, 
which is not mentioned by Hampson (1895), although 
these specks appear in the illustration (Fig. 101) in the 
same work. The medial spot on the inner margin of the 
forewing is elongate in the specimens examined 
and encloses a very small white speck, much smaller 
than in the illustrations in Hampson (1895) and 
Seitz (1915). 



174 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Corymica deducata Walker 

1866. Cat. Lep. Het. Brit. Mus. 35: 1569. 

Material examined: 3 exs.: caustolomaria 

Moore: 26.vii.2000, 30. vi i .2000 (females), wirthi nov.: 
Holotype 20.x. 1 998 (male); paratype 1 9.x. 2003 female. 
Leg. et coll. Peter Smetacek. 

Forewing Length: 13 mm. 

Expanse: 26 mm (Hampson 1 895): 28 mm (mihi) 

Distribution: Sikkim, Khasis (Meghalaya); 
Travancore (Kerala) (Hampson 1895); N. India to 
Korea, Japan and Formosa (Taiwan) (Prout 1915); also 
Sulawesi (Wehrli 1940). 

Remarks: A new record for Kumaon. The type 
of deducata is from Sulawesi. Wehrli (1940), quoting 
an uncited work of Prout, suggested that caustolomaria 
is the Indian race of the species. He also noted that 
specimens from Hainan examined by him belonged to 
caustolomaria. 

The species occurs in two forms in Kumaon. The 
typical form with a yellow ground colour and rufous 
markings is recorded in July (summer brood), while wirthi 
forma nov. is superficially very different, with the ground 
colour brown with fuscous markings and not a trace of 
yellow or rufous on both surfaces of the wings. On the 
verso surface, the costa of both wings is broadly paler, 
as is the inner margin of the forewing. The markings 
are identical to typical caustolomaria on both surfaces. 
It is the autumn form and appears not to have been 
recorded from anywhere in this insect's vast range. A 
similar difference in seasonal forms is evident in the 
European taxon Eilicrinia cordiaria Hiibner, which is 
closely related to Corymica. 

Wehrli (1940) noted that caustolomaria is on the 
wing in June and July in Hainan, and July in Korea. 
From this, it would appear to be univoltine in the northern 
part of its range, which rules out the very existence of 
an autumn form. However, it is possible that wirthi exists 
in Kerala, although there is no record of it so far. Wehrli 
(1940) noted that it is a rather rare species, so the lack 
of records is not unusual and wirthi might yet be 
discovered in Kerala. On the other hand, if it requires a 
degree of cold not found in Kerala, it might turn out to 
be restricted to the Himalaya. 

The new form is named after Basil Wirth of 
Reading, U.K., who has worked on Indian Lepidoptera 
for nearly half a century. 

Corymica specularia Moore 

1867, Proc. zool. Soc. Lond.: 649, pi. 33, fig. 1 1 . 

Material examined: 20 exs.: 1 .iii. 1 974 (female); 

1 0.iii. 1 977 (female); 6.iv. 1 999 (female); 1 3 .iv. 1 98 1 
(male); 20. iv. 1992; 1 .viii. 1973 (female); 1 .viii. 1 992 
(female); 7. viii. 1997 (female); 10. viii. 1995 



(male+female)x2; 1 2.viii. 1 977 (female); 1 6.viii. 1 995 
(female); 27. viii. 1983 (female); 29. viii. 1983 (female); 
30. viii. 1981 (female); 8.ix.l983 (female); 15. ix. 1992 
(female); I 8. ix. 1998 (male); 10.x. 1998 (female); 
14. xi. 1998 (female). 

Forewing Length. 16-20 mm. 

Expanse: Males 30-34 mm, females 38 mm (vide 
Hampson 1 895); males 34 mm, females to 42 mm (mihi). 

Distribution: Japan; Dharamsala (Himachal 
Pradesh); Sikkim; Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu); Sri Lanka 
(Hampson 1895). Widespread in India, Japan (Prout 
1915). Various localities in China, India, Japan (Wehrli 
1940). 

Remarks: This is the commonest member of the 
genus at the study site. In addition to the above 
specimens, this species has been recorded in June and 
July. It is on the wing in November only during warm 
years, such as 1998 and 1999. In 2000, which was a 
rather cool year due to the prolonged southwest 
monsoon, the moth was not recorded after October 1 8, 
while in 1998 it was recorded nearly a full month later 
on November 14. The above statement takes into 
consideration the possibility that the species was on the 
wing in November 2000, but was not attracted to the 
MV light at the study site, since not only specularia but 
no moths were attracted during most of the winter of 
2000-2001, unlike 1998-1999 and 1999-2000. So far, no 
seasonal variation has been noted in this species. 

The taxon vitrigera Butler, which was treated as 
a subspecies of specularia by Prout (1915) and Wehrli 
(1940) and as synonym of specularia by Hampson 
(1895) was described from specimens from Dharamsala 
in Himachal Pradesh, northwest of Jones Estate. 
Dharamsala is in the main Himalayan range, while Jones 
Estate is in the outermost range. Therefore, the genus 
probably occurs throughout the Himalayan range as far 
west as Dharamsala. However, 1 have not recorded it 
from any other location in Kumaon or Garhwal so far. 

None of the specimens examined in the present 
study are vitrigera. The type of specularia is from 
“Bengal”, so specularia occurs at least as far west as 
the Bhimtal valley where Jones Estate is situated. Unless 
it turns out that vitrigera is distributed along the main 
range and specularia along the foothills, vitrigera 
appears to have a rather restricted range. 

Discussion 

The present study extends the known distribution 
of Corymica cirnearia, C. deducata caustolomaria 
and C. specularia specularia westwards to the 
Kumaon Himalaya. The two former taxa are rather rare 
at 1,500 m, although they are perhaps commoner at 
lower elevations. It is worthy of note that only females 



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175 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



of arnearia have been recorded from Jones Estate so 
far. These individuals probably wandered so high in the 
process of dispersing the species. In the case of 
specularia , it appears to be well established at this 
elevation and will probably be found to occur even higher. 

The specimens examined in this study have been 
collected over a period of nearly thirty years. It will be 
noted that there are no records of arnearia and 
deducata caustolomaria prior to 1998. This should not 
be interpreted to imply that these two taxa were absent 
from the area prior to 1 998, but that they were probably 
overlooked earlier, although I am more or less certain 
that they were not attracted to the artificial light at the 
main study site between 1993 and 1997, when I paid 
more attention to members of this family. It can safely 
be stated that both these species appear sporadically at 
1,500 m, although they might be well established in a 
locality not very far from the main study site. 

Hitherto, seasonal variation had not been noted in 
this genus. The form wirthi nov. of C. deducata 
caustolomaria differs from the typical form in much 

REFER 

Hampson, G.F. (1895): The Fauna of British India including Ceylon 
and Burma. Moths Vol. III. Taylor & Francis, London. 
Prout, L.B. (1915): In: Seitz, A. ( ed. ): Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der 
Erde. Die Palaearktischen Spanner. Band IV. Alfred Kernen, 
Stuttgart. 



the same way as the spring form of the European moth 
Eilicrinia cordiaria Hiibner gen. vern. 
roeslerstammaria Staudinger differs from the typical 
summer form. As in the case of Corymica, not all 
species belonging to Eilicrinia Hiibner are seasonally 
dimorphic. The two genera are usually placed close 
together. I have treated wirthi nov. as a seasonal form 
of caustolomaria rather than as an aberration, despite 
the paucity of specimens and other supportive data. Given 
the similar trend in Eilicrinia and the rarity of this 
species over its entire range, it seems best to proceed in 
this manner. 

It is possible that vitrigera will be found in the 
main Himalayan range in Kumaon eventually and that 
C. specularia specularia occurs further west along 
the outer ranges of the Himalaya. 

February 1 1 , 2002 PETER SMETACEK 

Jones Estate, Bhimtal P.O., 
Nainital263 136, 
Uttaranchal, India. 

NCES 

Seitz, A. (ed.) (1915): Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde. Die 
Palaearktischen Spanner. Band IV. Alfred Kernen, Stuttgart. 
Wehrli, E. (1940): In: Seitz, A. (ed.) (1954): Die Gross- 
Schmetterlinge der Erde. Die Palaearktischen Spanner. 
Supplement zu Band IV. Alfred Kernen, Stuttgart. 



27. ADDITIONAL RECORDS OF BUTTERFLIES FROM MAHARASHTRA 



I would like to add the following butterflies to the 
list of those already known to occur in Maharashtra, 
within the erstwhile Bombay Presidency Area. 

Euploea klugi kollari : The species occurred 
regularly in the Colaba area of Mumbai from where I 
took 3 males and 2 females. Further, 1 took 2 males 
from Nalasopara and Tulsi Lake, north of Mumbai. At 
the time I did not consider klugi to be a great rarity, as 
we seemed to see them quite often. In those days, I 
never took many examples of the same species, being 
something of a conservationist, even before conservation 
became an issue. For this reason, I have only two 
females, as it is so similar to E. core. Being somewhat 
inexperienced then, I was unable to distinguish between 
core and klugi females in the field. I am certain that 
there was a small breeding colony in Colaba, as there 
were plenty of milkweed ( Calotropis ) plants close 
by. We were able to observe Danais chrysippus, 
D. genuta and Euploea core core in all their stages of 
development. My good friend of many years, Fr. A.E. 
Bean has also recorded a single male from Lonavala, 
Maharashtra. 



All the klugi kollari were taken between May 
and October 1957 to 1961 . As I have not been back to 
the area since then, I do not know if a breeding population 
still exists at Colaba. However, the occurrence of klugi 
at Nalasopara and especially Tulsi Fake, an area that I 
believe may now be protected should provide us with 
some hope. [Nalasopara is now built up, but Tulsi Lake 
is within the protected San jay Gandhi National Park — 
Eds] 

Neopithecops zalmora dharma: I took a single 
male of this species in Mahabaleshwar on 2 1.x. 1961. 
At that time, I was unaware that this species had never 
been taken in the area before. Both Wynter-Blyth ( 1 957) 
and Evans ( 1 932) report it from Sri Lanka, South India 
to Bengal and Kumaon to Burma (now Myanmar). It 
was only when I read Eliot and Kawazoes’ book, blue 
butterflies of the lycaenopsis group that I realised I 
might have something very special. Col. John Eliot was 
good enough to confirm the identity of the specimen in 
question a couple of years ago. 

Fr. Bean, who has taken zalmora in other areas, 
has usually found it flying with Megisba ma/aya. The 



176 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



specimen I took in Mahabaleshwar was flying with 
malaya thwaitsei. 

I would suggest that the species does occur in 
Maharashtra even if it is extremely rare. As it is a very 
weak flier and found so far inland, I would certainly not 
consider it to be a ‘wind blow’. 

Appias warili. I mentioned this species in an 
article in the JBNHS some 40 odd years ago. I took a 



single male at Colaba on 5 .vi i. 1 95 7, but feel that this 
specimen may well have been wind blown from much 
further south. 

May 1,2001 BASIL W. WIR1H 

5, Settrington Close, 
Lower Earley, Reading RG6 3XJ, 
United Kingdom. 



REFERENCES 

Evans, W.H. (1932): The identification of Indian Butterflies. 2 nd Wynter-Blyth, M.A. (1957): Butterflies of the Indian Region. 
Edn. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 1-454, Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. xx + 523, 

32 pi. 72 pi. 

28. STUDIES ON THE ODONATA (INSECTA) FROM A BACKWATER SWAMP 
OF NORTHERN KERALA 



Our present knowledge on the odonate fauna 
of estuarine and brackish water environments in 
India is confined to the state of Orissa and West 
Bengal on the east coast (Fraser and Drover 1921, 
Prasad and Ghosh 1982, 1988). Studies on odonates 
from the brackish water areas of the west coast of 
India have not been attempted earlier. Hence, this 
study was taken up at Chemballikundu, a backwater 
swamp in north Kerala from August 1 999 to September 
2000 . 

Chemballikundu swamp is a floodplain parallel 
to the Ezhimala hills, formed by rivers Ramapuram, 
Peruvamba and Kavaayi in Kannur district, situated 
at 12° 31' N and 75° 14' E. The area receives a mean 
annual rainfall of 3,000 mm, mainly from the 
southwest monsoon, from June to September. Maxi- 
mum and minimum temperatures of 33.4 °C and 
18.7 °C are experienced in April and December 
respectively. 

Due to the variation in salinity over the seasons, 
the vegetation of the area is diverse, comprising of 
species such as Nymphaea nouchali , Nymphoides 
indicus , Limnophylla heterophylla and Hydrilla 
verticillata, mixed with tall reeds like Mariscus 
javanicus, Fimbristylis ovata, F. ferruginea and 
F. aestivalis. The embankments along the marshes and 
mudflats are covered with patches of mangrove species 
like Avicennia officinalis, A. marina, Excoecaria 
agallocha, Aegiceras corniculatum, Achrosticum 
aureum and Acanthus ilicifolius. The varying micro- 
habitats provide good foraging and breeding grounds 
for many insects. The water is saline, except for a brief 
period during monsoon. Collections were made during 
October 1999 (post-monsoon), February-April 2000 
(pre-monsoon) and July-September 2000 (monsoon), to 



record seasonal variation and other related data. The 
odonates collected or observed are categorised as 
follows: 

A = Abundant: More than 1 5 observed during each 
visit/season 

C = Common: More than 8 observed during each 

visit/season 

UC = Uncommon: Not more than 4 observed during 
each visit/season 

R = Rare: Less than 4 observed during each visit/ 
season 

NF = Not Found: Not observed during the season. 

A total of 21 species of odonates under 19 genera 
belonging to 3 families were recorded from the wetlands 
of Chemballikundu. The suborders Zygoptera 
(damselflies) and Anisoptera (dragonflies) were 
represented by 8 and 13 species respectively. All 
the species are new reports from the area, and also 
from the estuarine ecosystem of western India, whereas 
Aciagrion occidentale and Mortonagrion varralli are 
new additions to the estuarine Odonata of India. 

The seasonal collection showed a diversity of 20 
species in post monsoon, 12 species in monsoon and 9 
species in pre-monsoon. The low species diversity in 
summer may be due to high salinity resulting from the 
lowering of water level for aquacultural practices. In 
summer, the aquatic vegetation and reed beds dry up 
and the entire ecosystem changes till the onset of the 
Southwest monsoon. Species such as Pseudagrion 
microcephalum , Mortonagrion varralli , Orthetrum 
sabina sabina, Brachythemis contaminata. 
Diplacodes trivialis, Pantala flavescens and Tholymis 
tillargavjexe recorded throughout the survey, indicating 
multivoltinity. The species were identified from the fauna 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



177 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



of British India series (Fraser 1933-36). The 
nomenclature follows Fraser (1957), and Prasad and 
Varshney (1995). A detailed systematic account with 
data on collection, status and habitat of the species 
recorded and notes on behaviour, and ecology of some 
species is given below. 

Breeding activities: Intense breeding activity 
was observed mostly during monsoon and post- 
monsoon. During July 2000, Diplacodes trivialis was 
observed in wheel position and Tholymis tillarga 
ovipositing on the open water surface. September 
was favourable for damselflies for mating and 
oviposition. Many pairs of Pseudagrion 
microcephalum and Ceriagrion cerinorubellum were 
seen in tandem, ovipositing on Nymphaea nouchali 
leaves, intermittently resting on the tall Fimbristylis 
grasses. Pairs of Rhyothemis variegata variegata 
were observed in tandem, hovering over the vegetation 
during September. 

Emergence: Swarms of newly emerged 
Diplacodes trivialis were observed among the sedges 
bordering the bunds in monsoon (July, 2000). 
Interestingly, they were not seen during the September 
survey. Exuviae and emerging swarms of Trithemis 
pallidinervis were seen in September among the 
mangrove thickets. 

Roosting: A small roosting population of Tholymis 
tillarga was observed on Aegiceras corniculatum, a 
small mangrove shrub near the marshland, at around 
1900 hrs in July 2000. Mass roosting of Pantala 
flavescens was seen on the tall Fimbristylis grasses 
and Hygrophila plants lining the creeks towards dusk 
(1910 hrs), in July. Mort onagri on varralli were seen 
roosting among the shoreline grasses. 

Accompanying behaviour: A small group of 8 
individuals of Brachythemis contaminata was observed 
accompanying one of the authors (MJP) during the 
collection trip. The swarm moved parallel to him, at a 
height of about 60 cm. When the author stopped to net 
them, they dispersed; some hovered, some perched on 
grass. When he resumed wading through the swamp, 
they followed him. This continued over a distance of 
c. 200 m. Swarms of Trithemis pallidinervis also 
exhibited similar behaviour along the trek path lining the 
wetlands in September. 

Predators: The Chemballikundu wetlands 
are known for diversity of birds (Jafer 2000). A flock 
of Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus), and 
Black Drongo ( Dicrurus macrocercns ) were seen 
capturing larger species of odonates like Pantala 
flavescens and Tramea limbata similata , especially in 
July and September, when the prey species were 
abundant. 



Systematic Account 

Suborder: Zygoptera 
Superfamily: Coenagrionoidea 
Family: Coenagrionidae 

Subfamily: Pseudagrioninae 

1. Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (Brauer 1865) 

Material examined: 1M, IF; 1 .x.1999. 2M, 2F; 

14.ix.2000. 

Field notes: Abundant among sedges along with 
Pseudagrion microcephalum immediately after the 
monsoon. Many pairs observed in tandem, ovipositing 
on the floating leaves of Nymphaea nouchali , during 
September, 2000. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: C, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

2. Ceriagrion coromandelianum (Fabricius 1798) 

Material examined: 1M; 1.x. 1999. 

Field notes: Common during the monsoon, 
frequents reed beds and aquatic grasses. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: R, Post- 
monsoon: C. 

3. Pseudagrion microcephalum (Ram bur 1842) 

Material examined: 1M, IF; 1.x. 1999. IF; 
2. i. 2000. 2F; 21 .vii.2000. 2M, 3F; 14.xi.2000. 

Field notes: Most common. Males regularly 
collected throughout the survey from the bund lines, 
observed slowly sailing through the tall reeds. Abundant 
immediately after monsoon. Pairs found in tandem and 
wheel position, also seen ovipositing on Limnophylla 
heterophylla and Nymphaea nouchali leaves, in 
tandem. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: C, Monsoon: A, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

Subfamily: Ischnurinae 

4. Aciagrion occidentale Laidlaw, 1919 

Material examined: IF; 14. ix. 2000. 

Field notes: Common during post-monsoon, 
mixing with Mortonagrion varralli among the sedges. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: NF, Post 
monsoon: C. 

5. Ischnura aurora aurora (Brauer 1865) 

Material examined: IM; 1. x.1999. 1M; 14.ix.2000. 
Field notes: Common. Observed only during post- 
monsoon. Mainly found among the sedges lining the 
aquacultural ponds. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: NF, Post- 
monsoon: C. 



178 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



6. Iscltnura senegalensis (Ram bur 1842) 

Material examined: IF; 1 8. ii .2000. 

Field notes: Common during pre-monsoon. 
Status: Pre-monsoon: C, Monsoon: NF, Post- 
monsoon: NF. 

Subfamily: Agriocnemidinae 

7. Agriocnemis pygmaea (Rambur 1842) 

Material: 1M; 1.x. 1999. 

Field notes: Common during post-monsoon. 
Frequents grasslands on the banks of the swamp. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: NF, Post- 
monsoon: C. 

8. Mortonagrion varralli Fraser 1920 

Material examined: 1M; 2. i. 2000. 4M; 
23.vii.2000. 3M, 2F; 14.ix.2000. 

Field notes: Abundant. Found among the 
littoral vegetation in good numbers towards dusk 
throughout the survey. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: C, Monsoon: C, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

Suborder: Anisoptera 
Superfamily: Aeshnoidea 
Family: Gomphidae 
Subfamily: Linden iinae 

9. lctinogomphus rapax (Rambur 1842) 

Field notes: Uncommon. Frequents paddy fields, 
reed beds and other aquatic vegetation during the 
monsoon and post-monsoon. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: UC, Post- 
monsoon: R. 

Family: Libellulidae 
Subfamily: Libellulinae 

10. Orthetrum sabina sabina (Drury 1770) 

Material examined: 1M; 2. i. 2000. 

Field notes: Common. Observed throughout 
the season, hovering over the mangrove vegetation. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: C, Monsoon: C, Post- 
monsoon: C. 

Subfamily: Sympetrinae 

1 1 . Acisoma panorpoides panorpoides Rambur 1842 

Material examined: 1M; 1.x. 1999. 

Field notes: Uncommon. A single specimen 
collected in October from tall Fimbristylis grass. 



Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: NF, Post- 
monsoon: UC. 

12. Brachythemis contaminata (Fabricius 1793) 

Materia! examined: 2M, IF; 1.x. 1999; IF; 
14. ix. 2000. 

Field notes: Commonly observed throughout the 
study, among the emerging macrophytes of the creeks. 
Abundant after monsoon. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: R, Monsoon: C, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

13. Crocothemis servilia servilia (Drury 1770) 

Material examined: 1M; 1.x 1999. 

Field notes: Common. Found throughout the 
study, except in summer, in and around paddy fields. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: R, Monsoon: C, Post- 
monsoon: C. 

14. Diplacodes trivial is (Rambur 1842) 

Material examined: 2M, 2F; 1.x. 1999. IF; 
2 1 .vii.2000. IF; 14.ix.2000. 

Field notes: Abundant. Observed throughout the 
survey along the shoreline vegetation. During July, 
unusually large numbers of teneral forms were found 
congregating on the shore. Breeding pairs were seen in 
July. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: UC, Monsoon: A, Post- 
monsoon: UC. 

15. Neurothemis tidlia tullia (Drury 1773) 

Field notes: Uncommon. Frequents reed beds and 
paddy fields, especially during monsoon. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: R, Post- 
monsoon: UC. 

Subfamily: Trithemistinae 

16. Trithemis pallidinervis (Kirby 1889) 

Material examined: 1M, 2F; 14.x. 2000. 

Field notes: Abundant during September. Swarms 
of this species found fluttering around the thickets of 
grass near aquaculture ponds. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: A, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

Subfamily: Trameinae 

1 7. Rhyotliemis variegata variegata (Linnaeus 1763) 

Material examined: IF; 14. ix. 2000. 

Field Notes: Abundant, swarms active during the 
post-monsoon. Breeding activities observed during 
September. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



179 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: A, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

18. Pantala flavescens (Fabricius 1798) 

Material examined: IF; 23.vii.2000. 1M; 
14.ix.2000. 

Field notes: Swarms of this species observed 
throughout the survey. Activities intense during post- 
monsoon. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: C, Monsoon: UC, Post- 
monsoon: A. 

19. Tramea limbata similata Rambur 1842 

Material examined: 1M; 14. ix. 2000. 

Field notes: Common in September. Found soaring 
over the wetlands along with Pantala flavescens. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: C, Post- 
monsoon: C. 

20. Tholymis tillarga (Fabricius 1798) 

Material examined: IF; 1.x. 1999, 1M; 21 .vii.2000. 
Field notes: Observed throughout the survey. 
Abundant in monsoon. Found patrolling all along the 
wetland area with great speed and agility towards dusk. 
Many specimens found hanging on the twigs of 
Aegiceras corniculatum at c. 1 840 hrs on a rainy day. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: C, Monsoon: A, Post- 
monsoon: C. 



21. Macrodiplax cora (Brauer 1867) 

Material examined: 1M; l.x.1999. 

Field notes: Rare. A single specimen collected 
immediately after the monsoon. 

Status: Pre-monsoon: NF, Monsoon: NF, Post- 
monsoon: R. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank Dr. J.R.B. Alfred, Director, Zoological 
Survey of India and Sri. C. Radhakrishnan, Jt. Director, 
Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghats Field 
Research Station, Calicut for providing facilities and 
encouragement. 

July 30, 200 1 MUHAMED J AFER PALOT 

V.P. SONIYA* 
Zoological Survey of India, 
Western Ghats Field Research Station, 
Annie Hall Road, 
Calicut 673 002, 
Kerala, India. 

*Present Address: Zoological Survey of India, 
Freshwater Biological Station, 
1-1-300/B, AshokNagar, 
Hyderabad 500 020, 
Andhra Pradesh, India. 



REFERENCES 



Fraser, F.C. (1933-1936): The Fauna of British India, including 
Ceylon and Burma. Odonata. Vol. I-III. Taylor & Francis, 
London. 

Fraser, F.C. ( 1 957): A reclassification of the order Odonata. Royal 
Zool Soc NSW. Handbook No. 12. Pp. 58. 

Fraser, F.C. & C. Drover (1921): The Dragonflies of Barkuda Island. 
Rec. Indian Mus. 24: 303-3 1 1 . 

Jafer Palot. M. (2000): Habitat use of birds of North Malabar 
coast with special reference to White-bellied Sea Eagle, 
Haliaeetus leucogaster. Ph D. Thesis, University of Calicut, 



Kerala. 

Prasad, M. & S.K. Ghosh (1982): Studies on the Estuarine Odonata 
from 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, with a note on the 
reproductive behaviour in Urothemis signata signata (Rambur) 
(Odonata: Insecta). J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 79(2): 290-295. 

Prasad, M. & S.K. Ghosh ( 1 988): A contribution on the estuarine 
odonates of East India. Rec. zool Surv. India 85(2): 197-216. 

Prasad, M. & A.K. Varshney (1995): A checklist of the Odonata of 
India including data on larval stages. Oriental Ins. 29: 
385-428. 



29. THE PULMONATE SNAIL OPE AS GRAC1LE (HUTTON), 
STYLOMMATOPHORA: SUBULINIDAE: OPEATINAE — A NEW RECORD 
FROM JAMMU PROVINCE, JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE 



In the literature on the malacofauna of Jammu 
Province of Jammu and Kashmir State (Theobald 1 878, 
Verma et al. 1996, and Duda et al. 1999) the 
stylommatophore gastropods reported from Jammu 
Province are: Ena ( Subzebrinus ) arcuatus Pfeiffer 
(Family Enidae), Anadenus altivagus (Theobald) 
(Family Arionidae), Bensonia jammuensis (Theobald), 



B. monticola (Hutton), Euanstenia monticola (Hutton), 
Syama splendens (Hutton) (Family Ariophantidae), 
Umax maximus Ferrusac (Family Limacidae) and 
Planispira sp. (Family Helicidae). 

While collecting molluscs of Jammu and Kashmir 
State, we obtained several specimens of the pulmonate 
snail Opeas gracile (Hutton) (Subulinidae: Opeatinae) 



180 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



from a garden in Roop Nagar on the outskirts of Jammu 
city. As this species has not been reported from Jammu 
Province earlier, this is a new record. 

Gude (1914) reported Opeas gracile (Hutton) 
from Kashmir without giving its exact distribution in the 
region. The present report extends the range of the 
species as well as of the Family Subulinidae to Jammu 
Province for the first time, as Opeas gracile (Hutton) 
is the sole representative of Subulinidae in this 
region. 



We thank Shri. S.C. Mitra, Asst. Zoologist and 
Officer-in-Charge, Mollusca Sect., Zoological Soc. of India 
SI, Kolkata for confirming the identity of the specimen. 

June 1 4, 200 1 SURENDRA NATH 

SUNITA 
Department of Zoology, 
Government Camp College for Kashmir Migrants, 
P.B. 140, G.P.O. Jammu (Tawi) 180 001, 
Jammu & Kashmir, India. 



REFERENCES 



Duda, RL., A.K. Verma& PS. Pathani (1999): Notes on the habitat 
ecology and barriers to dispersal of some gastropod molluscs 
of J&K State. Adv. Fish Wildl. Ecol. Biol. 2: 190-195. 

Gude, G.K. (1914): The Fauna of British India — Mollusca, Vol. II. 

(Trochomorphidae; Janellidae). Taylor & Francis, London. 
Theobald, W. (1878): Notes on the land and freshwater shells of 



Kashmir, more particularly of the J'nelum Valley, below 
Srinagar and hills of North Kashmir. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 
47 ( 2 )\ 141-149. 

Verma, A.K. & PL. Duda ( 1996): On the distribution and ecology 
of some gastropod molluscs of the Jammu Province of J&K 
State. Adv. Fish Wildl. Ecol. Biol. F. 229-234. 



30. EXTENSION OF DISTRIBUTION OF THE THOMISID SPIDER PLATYTHOMISUS 
SUDEEPI BISWAS, THOMISIDAE: ARANEAE, FROM NORTH KANARA, 
KARNATAKA 



Thomisid spiders, commonly known as crab- 
spiders, have been studied by Tikader (1960-95). His 
work on the fauna of India, thomisidae (pt. 1) (1980) 
covers 1 15 species under 25 genera nominated, so far, 
from the Indian subcontinent. Platythomisus sudeepi 
Biswas, an uncommon Thomisid spider, was identified 
on the basis of a fine photograph by Ashok Captain. 
The identification was made with the keys, descriptions 
and illustrations from this fauna (pp. 1 72-1 74). 

The type locality for P. sudeepi Biswas is Pollibetta, 
Coorg district, Karnataka (15° 12'N, 75° 80' E). The types 
(2 9 ?) of this species have been deposited in the 
National Collection, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. 
The description given in the fauna tallies with the 
photograph, except for the red abdominal colour as 
against the deep brown, and three conspicuous black 
bands, which also vary in size and shape. The 
photograph was taken at Castle Rock, North Kanara, 
Karnataka near the state border of Goa 
(14° 28' N, 74° 20' E), c. 280-300 km north of the type 
locality. 

The genus Platythomisus Dolesch constitutes only 
two nominated species: Platythomisus bazarus Tikader 
from Nayabazar, West Sikkim and P. sudeepi Biswas 
from Pollibeta, Coorg, Karnataka in India. The present 
report from North Kanara is the second report of 



this Indomalayan genus from the Western Ghats 
and reduces the vast gap between the two earlier 
records. 

The Thomisids are non-orb-weaving jumping 
spiders that hunt their prey by direct attacks through 
the foliage and flowers and mainly devour diurnal insects. 
They move their legs, specially the first two pairs, 
sideways like crabs; their bodies are also dorsoventrally 
flattened, due to which they are termed crab-spiders. 
They usually possess bright and beautiful body 
colouration (Tikader 1980), which varies greatly even 
within the same species in the same locality. The body 
colours in Arachnids depend upon the nature of their 
food (insects and other invertebrates). 

We thank Dr. M.S. Pradhan, Officer-in-Charge, 
Zoological Survey of India, Western Regional Station, 
Pune and Dr. H.V. Ghate, Head, Zoology Department, 
Modern College, Pune, for help and facilities. 

June 6, 200 1 D.B. BASTAWADE 

KRUSHNAMEGH KUNTE 
ASHOK CAPTAIN 
Zoological Survey of India, 
Western Regional Station, 
Akurdi, Pune 41 1 044, 
Maharashtra, India. 



REFERENCE 

Biswas, A.T. (1977): A new species of spider of the genus Platythomisus Simon (Thomisidae) from Coorg, Karnataka, India. J. Bombay nat. 
Hist. Soc. 74(2): 332-334. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



3 1 . REDESCRIPTION OF TETRAGNATHA VIRIDORUFA GRAVELY 
FROM KERALA, INDIA, ARANEAE: TETRAGNATHIDAE 



Tetragnatha viridorufa Gravely, a common 
species in the forests and paddy fields of Kerala, was 
first reported by Gravely (1921) from Barkuda Islands, 
Orissa. As a predominant predatory spider in our 
agricultural fields, T. viridorufa bears much importance 
in biocontrol studies. However, as there is no detailed 
illustration in Gravely’s description, its identification 
is usually difficult. During our study on the spiders 
of Ernakulam district in Kerala, we came across several 
specimens of T. viridorufa. A detailed description 
and illustration of T. viridorufa collected is given 
here. 

Collection and preservation of the spiders was 
done following Tikader ( 1987). The material was studied 
using a Stereozoom binocular microscope, model Leica 
MS-5. All measurements are in millimetres, made with 
an eyepiece graticule. 

Abbreviations used are as follows: ALE = Anterior 
lateral eye, AME = Anterior median eye, PLE = 
Posterior lateral eye, PME = Posterior median eye; 
Spination: dvpr = dorsal-ventral-prolateral-retrolateral, 
MOQ = Median ocular quadrangle, L = Length, 
W = Width, H = Height, SR = Semicircular ridge, 
TT = Truncate tooth. 

Tetragnatha viridorufa Gravely 

(Figs 1-19) 

1921 Tetragnatha viridorufa : Gravely, Rec. Ind. 
Mus. 22: 4 1 1 and 434 

1987 Tetragnatha viridorufa : Tikader, 

Handbook of Indian spiders : 222 

Cephalothorax reddish-brown, longer than broad. 
Abdomen elongate, yellowish-brown in male, dorsum 
reddish and lateral sides bright greenish in female. Legs 
longer, slender and yellowish-brown. 

Measurements (in mm): Male: Total length: 
10.75; Cephalothorax 3 L, 1.5 W, 1 .0 H; Abdomen 7.6 L, 
1.2 W, 1.0 H. Female: Total length: 10.40; 
Cephalothorax 3.2 L, 1.9 W, 1.0 H; Abdomen 7.1 L, 
1.7 W, 1.1 H. 

Cephalothorax 

Male: Reddish-brown, longer than broad. Cephalic 
region rounded anteriorly, broadest basally and slightly 
concave dorsally. Cephalic region separated from 
thoracic region by a short indentation. Eyes eight in two 
rows, both rows recurved, MOQ slightly wider at the 
anterior end. Anterior eye row longer than posterior. 



Eye separation AME-AME 0.12, AME-ALE = 0.22, 
PME-PME = 0.10, PME-PLE = 0.15; Eye diameter 
AME 0.1 8, ALE = 0.1 5, PME = 0.17, PLE = 0.15. Eye 
row length: AE = 0.98, PE = 0.94. Cheliceral length = 4, 
fang = 3.2. Sternum, Labium, Maxillae as in female. 
Chelicerae long, slender and widely divergent; first dorsal 
spine and subapical spine subequal in length, the former 
being slightly shorter and thicker than latter and much 
longer than other spines. Fang armed with a strong 
truncate tooth on the inner side of the basal bend. 
Legs yellowish-brown, long and slender. Metatarsus 
I / Tarsus I = 6.73. Leg formula 12 4 3. Palp yellow, 
bulb transverse; length of the palp longer than femur III, 
about one half of femur I. Cymbium as long as tibia, 
broader at the apical half; paracymbium cleft apically, 
four times longer than broad. Apex of conductor thin 
and shortly curved upwards. Embolus elongate and thin 
(Figs 17-19). 

Female: Reddish-brown, longer than broad. Fovea 
distinct and deep, with two lateral furrows converging 
to it from anterior end. Eyes eight in two rows, both 
rows recurved, anterior row longer than posterior row. 
Ocular quadrangle longer than broad, slightly wider at 
the anterior end. Clypeus height 1.3 times AME 
diameter. Sternum longer than wide, brownish-yellow, 
pointed behind. Labium longer than wide, similar in 
colour to sternum, apical end bluntly rounded, basal end 
with lateral indentations. Maxillae yellowish-brown, 
longer than wide; distal end with lateral projections 
having a longitudinal ridge midventrally (Fig. 4). 
Chelicerae with 15 teeth on the outer margin and 
13 teeth on the inner margin. 7 basal teeth on outer 
margin and 6 basal teeth on the inner margin are smaller 
and closely set. Chelicerae long, slender and widely 
divergent; first dorsal and ventral teeth much larger than 
others (Figs 8-12). A semicircular ridge extends 
between first dorsal and ventral spine (Fig. 1 1). Fang 
unarmed. Eye diameter ALE = 0.13, AME = 0.15, 
PLE = 0.13 PME = 0.14. Eye separation ALE- 
AME = 0.22, AME-AME = 0.13, PME-PLE = 0.18, 
PME-PME = 0.11, AME-PME = 0.12. Eye row length 
AE = 1.02, PE = 0.91. Length of ocular quadrangle 
0.36. Cheliceral length = 4. Legs longer, slender and 
yellowish-brown. Leg formula 12 4 3. Spination 
of Tibia I dvpr = 2-2-5-4, Femur I dvpr = 1 -2-9-5 
(Fig. 5) 

Abdomen 

Male: Abdomen yellowish-brown, elongate and 
cylindrical. Abdominal tip rounded, not exerted 



182 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



0.5 mm 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Figs 1-19: Tetragnatha viridorufa Gravely: 9 1 . Dorsal view, 2. Lateral view, 3. Abdomen - Ventral view, 

4. Sternum with labium and maxillae, 5. Femur I, 6. Epigynal fold, 7. Internal Genitalia, 8. Chelicerae - Dorsal view, 
9. Chelicerae - Ventral view, 10. Chelicerae - Lateral view, 11. Chelicerae - Anterior end enlarged - ventral view, 
12. Semicircular ridge - Lateral view, 13. d Chelicerae - Dorsal view, 14. d Chelicerae - Ventral view, 

15. d Chelicerae - Lateral view, 16. d Chelicerae - Anterior end enlarged - Lateral view, 17. d Palp - Dorsal view, 

18 d Palp - Ventral view, 19. d Palp - Lateral view. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



183 



1 mm , 1 mm 




MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Table 1 : Measurements in mm for Tetragnatha viridorufa Gravely ( d ) 





Femur 


Patella 


Tibia 


Metatarsus 


Tarsus 


Total 


1 


9 00 


1.10 


9.30 


10.10 


1.50 


31.00 


II 


6.05 


1.00 


5.35 


5.75 


1.15 


19.30 


III 


3.90 


0.72 


2.51 


2.95 


0.89 


10.97 


IV 


7.15 


0.71 


4.95 


5.25 


0.91 


18.97 


Palp 


2.1 


0.51 


1.10 


— 


1.40 


5.11 



Table 2: Measurements in mm for Tetragnatha viridorufa Gravely (9) 





Femur 


Patella 


Tibia 


Metatarsus 


Tarsus 


Total 


1 


9.11 


1.21 


9.20 


10.0 


2.40 


31.92 


II 


6.52 


1.00 


6.10 


6.81 


1.52 


21.95 


III 


4.30 


0.72 


2.52 


3.13 


1.12 


11.79 


IV 


7.10 


0.68 


6.00 


6.11 


1.50 


21.39 


Palp 


1.51 


0.51 


1.21 


— 


1.20 


4.43 



beyond spinnerets. Lateral margins smooth except 
three posterotransverse striations near spinnerets. 
Venter yellowish, book lungs brown, longer than 
broad. A transverse black patch in front of spinnerets 
ventral ly. 

Female: Elongate, dorsum reddish and lateral sides 
bright greenish. Abdominal tip blackish, slightly projecting 
beyond spinnerets. Venter yellowish-brown. Epigynal 
fold short, distal fold wider than long, with a conical tip. 
(Figs 1-3) 

Distribution: India: Villivakulam, Chingleput 
district; Barkuda island, Ganjam district; Balugaon and 
Balighai, Puri district, Orissa; Ernakulam, Thattakkad 
Bird Sanctuary, Bhoothathankettu; Kerala. 

Natural History: Nocturnal, collected from 
coconut leaves hiding under the leaves; colouration of 
the abdomen helps in concealing its presence. 

Material examined: India: 2 ? 9, d\ Moolampilly 
Is., Ernakulam, 26.ii.2001, Habitat: coastal ecosystem. 
Coll. K. Sunil Jose. 



2 ? ? , 2 ? 9 , Bhoothathankettu, Kothamangalam, 
5.xii.2000. Habitat: Evergreen forest, Coll. K. Sunil Jose. 

1 d, 2 9 9 , Thattakkad Bird Sanctuary, 10.iv.2001 . 
Habitat: Evergreen forest, Coll. Samson Davis. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

We thank Principal Rev. Fr. George Koyikara 
C.M.I., Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi for 
providing facilities. 

December 7, 2001 K. SUNIL JOSE 

Department of Zoology, 
St. Albert’s H.S.S., Kochi 682 0 1 8, 
Kerala, India. 
SAMSON DAVIS 
A.V. SUDHIKUMAR 
P.A. SEBASTIAN 
Sacred Heart College, Thevara, 
Kochi 682 013, Kerala, India. 



REFERENCES 



Gravely, F.H. ( 1921 ): Some Indian spiders of the subfamily Tetragnathidae. Rec. Indian Mus. 22: 399-421 and 423-459. 
I ikader, B.K. (1987): Handbook of Indian spiders. Zoological Survey of India. Pp. 25 1 . 

32. ON TWO INTERESTING MARINE CRABS (DECAPODA: BRACHYURA) 
FROM MANDVI, KUTCH 



In connection with studies on animal-sediment 
relationship, involving burrows made by polychaetes, 
crustaceans and molluscs, crabs were collected by one 
of us (BGD) from the intertidal zone around Mandvi 
region (22° 55' N, 69° 20' E) in the Gulf of Kutch. A 
total of seven species were collected and identified as 
follows: 



1. Matuta lunaris (Forskal), 2. Matuta planipes 
Fabricius, 3. Portunus tenuipes (De Haan), 
4. Ocypoda ceratophthalma (Pallas), 5. Ocypoda 
platytarsis Milne-Edwards, 6. Ocypoda rotundata 
Miers, and 7. Plagusia depressa var. squamosa 
(Herbst). 

Chhapgar (1957a, b, 1958, 1961, 1968, 1979), 



184 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Chhapgar and Borgaonkar (1985) and Chhapgar and 
Mundkur (1995), in studies on marine crabs of the 
erstwhile Bombay State, had recorded species 1 , 2, 4, 6 
and 7 from the above list. The other two, namely 
Portunus tenuipes (De Haan) and Ocypoda platytarsis 
Milne-Edwards appear to be new records for the region. 

Portunus tenuipes (De Haan) 

This is the only Indian species of Portunus in which 
the front is cut into three teeth (all the others have four 
teeth). The length of the carapace is about two-thirds 
its breadth. The antero-lateral borders are cut into nine 
teeth, of which the last is a long spine thrice as long as 
the other teeth. 

The arm of the chelipeds has three spines on its 
anterior border and one at the far end of the posterior 
border. There is a strong spine on the inner angle of the 
wrist, and a much weaker one on the outer angle. The 
hand has a spine near the wrist-joint and another just 
behind its joint with the finger. 

Alcock’s ( 1 899) key states “posterior angles of 
carapace square” for P. tenuipes. His description is: 
“Posterior border slightly curved and meets the postero- 
lateral border at a well-marked angle which is sometimes 
slightly turned up.” In the specimen examined by us, the 
postero-lateral borders appear to continue as a smooth 
curve with the posterior border. Below this level, 
however, the front edge of the abdomen does show an 
acute spiny angle. 

In view of the smooth curving of the postero-lateral 
borders into the posterior border and the distribution of 
P. tenuipes from the Andamans, as given by Alcock, it 
was first thought unlikely that the crab was P tenuipes. 
However, the presence of only three teeth on the front is 
so characteristic of this species that this character, together 
with the morphological features tallying with Alcock’s 
description as P. tenuipes , leads us to identify this crab. 

Breadth of carapace (with spines) 59 mm 

Breadth of carapace (without spines) 40 mm 

Length of carapace 30 mm 




0.1 mm 

Fig. 1: Tip of first male abdominal appendage of 
llyoplax gangeticus 



Alcock has not described the colouration of 
P. tenuipes. Our specimen (after prolonged 
preservation) shows extensive irregular white spots 
characteristic of P. pelagicus, but on a light buff orange 
background, on the carapace and the arm of the 
chelipeds. The finger and thumb of both the claws are 
crimson red along their distal half. 

The presence of this species from the Arabian 
Sea is of interest. 

Ocypoda platytarsis Milne-Edwards 

This species resembles O. ceratophthalma , but 
differs from it in the absence of brushes of hairs on the 
anterior surface of the propodites of any of the legs. 
The dactyli are dorsoventrally compressed and 
broadened, and are also fluted (Alcock 1900). 

The stridulating ridge on the inner surface of the 
palm is entirely granular. (In O. ceratophthalma, this 
ridge consists of tubercles gradually passing into 
granules.) The upper edge of the inner surface of the 
ischium of the large claw, against which the stridulating 
ridge is rubbed to produce sound, is only raised and rough, 
there being no specialised structure. 

The orbits of the eyes are hardly oblique. 

Breadth of carapace: 51 mm 

This crab is common along both the coasts of the 
Indian Peninsula as well as in Sri Lanka. 

In the note on llyoplax gangeticus (Kemp) by 
Chhapgar and Borgaonkar (1985), description of the first 
abdominal appendage was inadvertently left out. The 
tips of the appendages end in a straight edge, somewhat 
like a ploughshare. Behind this, on one side are about 
eight close set setae; the other side bears distal ly spaced 
setae (Fig. 1). 

ACKNOWLEDG EM ENI 

Financial assistance to SJP and BGD from 
Department of Science and Technology, Government 
of India for Project No. ESS/23/049/96 is gratefully 
acknowledged. 

July 27, 2001 B.F. CHHAPGAR 

Taraporevala Marine Biological Station, 
Taraporevala Aquarium, 
Mumbai 400 002, 
Maharashtra, India. 

BHAWANISINGH G. DESAI 
SATISH J. PATEL 
Department of Geology, 
M.S. University of Baroda, 
Vadodara 390 002, 
Gujarat, India. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



185 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



REFERENCES 



Alcock, A. ( 1 899): Materials for a carcinological fauna of India. Journ. 
As. Soc. Bengal Ixviii: 1-104. 

Alcock., A. ( 1 900): Materials for a carcinological fauna of India. Journ. 
As. Soc. Bengal Ixix: 279-456. 

Chhapgar, B.F. (1957a): On the marine crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura) 
of Bombay State. Pt I. J. Bombay nat Hist. Soc. 54(2): 399-439. 
Chhapgar, B.F. (1957b): On the marine crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura) 
of Bombay State. Pt II. J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 54(3): 
503-549. 

Chhapgar, B.F. (1958): Additions to the crab fauna of Bombay State. 

J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc 55(3): 582-585. 

Chhapgar, B.F. (1961): Extension of range of the crab Acanthonyx 



limbatus Milne-Edwards to Indian waters. J. Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc. 58(2): 529. 

Chhapgar, B.F. (1968): More additions to the crab fauna of Bombay 
State. J. Bombay nat. Hist Soc. 65(3): 608-617. 

Chhapgar, B.F. (1979): Colour during life of the crab Atergatis roseus 
(Ruppell). J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 76(2): 370-371. 

Chhapgar, B.F. & S.S. Borgaonkar (1985): Extension of range 
of the estuarine crab Ilyoplax gangeticus (Kemp) to the 
west coast of India. J Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 82(1): 226-228. 
Chhapgar, B.F. & T. Mundkur (1995): Occurrence of the crab 
Euxanthus exsculptus (Herbst) in Gujarat. J Bombay nat. Hist. 
Soc. 92(2): 286. 



33. LITTLE KNOWN BIODIVERSITY OF SUBTERRANEAN FRESHWATER 
HABITATS IN INDIA, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO CRUSTACEAN FAUNA 



The United Nations Convention on Biological 
Diversity (CBD), which came into force on December 29, 
1 993, has evoked a tremendous, determined response from 
the world’s scientific community, as well as governments, 
to save the earth’s fast-depleting biodiversity. Though 
the term biodiversity encompasses the total variability 
of life in the biosphere, it is often viewed in the restricted 
sense of epigean flora and fauna, both terrestrial and 
aquatic. Paradoxically, however, the vast and varied 
hypogean biodiversity has received little attention, 
especially in South Asia, including India. This is partly 
due to the widespread misconception that groundwater 
is azoic, except for some harmless bacteria. 

Elsewhere in the world (see Botosaneanu 1986), 
however, the hypogean/subterranean biotope has been 
found to support rich faunal diversity, comprising almost 
all the free-living invertebrate groups and some 
vertebrates as well. For example, Pesce (1985), while 
reviewing the Italian groundwater fauna (stygofauna), 
met with the following significant stygobiont groups: 
cyclopid and harpacticoid copepods, ostracods, 
thermosbaenaceans, mysids, amphipods, isopods, 
syncarids, decapods, water mites, nematodes, 
gastropods, tricladid turbellarians, and amphipods. Other 
groups of organisms that are mostly stygoxenous or 
stygophilous, include Bacteria, Protozoa, Rotifera, 
Cladocera, Archiannelida, Oligochaeta, Gastrotricha, 
Bivalvia, and insect larvae. Further, the subterranean 
environment may reveal insights into biological 
adaptation and speciation (Barr 1968, Rouch 1986). Even 
the reconstruction of the earth’s history is interpreted in 
terms of the occurrence of certain ancient stygofaunal 
elements (Schminke 1974, 1981). 

In India, the faunal diversity of the subterranean 
freshwater biotope, i.e. Husmann’s(1971) ‘kernel zone’ 
of groundwater, has received scant attention from 
taxonomists and systematists. Hence, this note is meant 



to update the poorly known Indian stygocrustacean 
fauna, and to underscore the need to start highly 
rewarding stygobiological research in the country. 

Two methods were used to collect the animals from 
the subterranean fresh waters: 

Direct filtration: Bore-well water was filtered 
for 3 to 4 hrs by tying a plankton net made of bolting silk 
(mesh size 70 pm) to the inlet delivery tube of overhead 
storage tanks in residential areas or by manually holding 
the net against water pumped from agricultural bore 
wells for c. 30 min. The filtrate was fixed in 1 0% formalin 
and preserved in 5% formalin solution. 

Coring and filtration: Plastic tubes (open at both 
ends) 70 cm long and 4 cm wide, and/or metal corer, were 
employed in sandy or gravelly hyporheic zones of rivers. 
The cores taken from the sediment surface to a depth of 
1 0-30 cm were pooled into a bucket and vigorously stirred 
with filtered habitat water. The supernatant was filtered 
through plankton net, and the filtrate fixed and preserved 
as mentioned above. Other details such as dissection, and 
drawing, are as given in Reddy (2001 ). 

Checklist of the known Stygocrustaceans in India 

Amphipoda 

Indoniphargus indicus (Chilton 1923) appears 
to be the first record of a true stygobiont, freshwater 
crustacean in India; it was found in wells, springs and 
mine pits in Bengal, Orissa, and Bihar (Botosaneanu 
1986). No further amphipod species are known from 
the subterranean freshwater in India to date. 

Isopoda 

Nichollsia kashiense Chopra & Tiwari 1950 
(Fig. 7): Wells at Benaras and Lahagara in Uttar Pradesh. 

Nichollsia menoniYmari, 1955: Well at Monghyr 
in Bihar. 



186 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Figs 1-4: Some copepod representatives of the subterranean freshwater in India: 1. Rangabradya indica , female, dorsal, 
scale = 0.1 mm; 2. Parastenocaris gayatri, male, dorsal, scale = 0.1 mm; 3. Leptastacus n. sp., male, dorsal (original), scale 
= 0.1 mm; 4. Thermocyclops oblongatus, female, dorsal, scale = 0.5 mm. Abbreviations, a = antennule; c = cephalothorax; 
f = caudal furca; g = genital somite; r = rostrum. 

Figs 5-8: Some non-copepod crustaceans of the subterranean freshwater in India: 5. Habrobathynella schminkei, female, 
lateral, scale = 0.2 mm; 6. Troglindicus phreaticus, male, lateral, scale = 0.5 mm; 7. Nichollsia kashiense, male, dorsal, 
scale = 5.0 mm; 8. Cypretta fontinalis, female, left valve, dorsal, scale = 0.3 mm. Abbreviations: al = antennule; a2 = antenna; 
c = cephalothorax; f = furca; h = head; I = labrum; m = mandible; ml = maxillule; mx = maxilla, p = pleotelson; pi = pleon; 
pr = preon; prd = pereopods; pld = pleopods; th. 1-7 = thoracopods 1-7; th. 8 = thoracopod 8; u = uropod. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan.-Apr. 2004 



187 




MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Decapoda 

Macrobrachium cavernicola (Kemp 1924): 
Streams and pools in Siju Cave, Garo Hills, and a cave 
near Cherrapunji, Meghalaya (Kemp 1924). 

Troglindicus phreaticus Sankolli & Shenoy, 1979 
(Fig. 6): Fort Well near All-weather Port, Ratnagiri, 
Maharashtra (Sankolli and Shenoy 1979). 

Mysidacea (from Botosaneanu 1986) 

Spelaeomysis longipes (Pillai and Mariamma 
1963): well at Kottayam, Kerala. 

Ostracoda (from Botosaneanu 1986) 

Cypretta fontinalis Hartmann 1964 (Fig. 8): Well 
at Junagadh, Gujarat (Vicror and Fernando 1 978). 

Copepoda 

Cyclopid and harpacticoid copepods represent a 
very significant and highly speciose crustacean group 
in subterranean freshwaters as in epigean waters. 
During a survey of the Indian stygofauna, conducted by 
the Zoological Institute of the University of L’Aquila, 
Italy (December 1982 to January 1983), Pesce and Pace 
( 1 984) recorded for the first time four cyclopid species 
in freshwater wells near New Delhi: Thermocyclops 
oblongcitus (G.O. Sars 1927) (Fig. 4), Eucyclops 
serrulatus (Fischer 1851), Mesocyclops aspericornis 
(Daday 1906), and Tropocyclops prasinus (Fischer 
1860). 

As for the harpacticoids, Elaphoidella crassa 
Chappuis 1954 is the first subterranean freshwater taxon 
in India; it was reported from Maosmae cave near 
Cherrapunji by Chappuis (1954). Karanovic and Pesce 
(2001) have described a second species, Rangabradya 
indica Karanovic and Pesce 2001 (Fig. 1), from a 
freshwater well at Guntur. 

Bathynellacea 

The order Bathynellacea, which contains primitive 
and very ancient freshwater syncarid crustaceans 
(ancestry dating back to the Carboniferous or even 
earlier; see Schminke 1974), has been reported by Reddy 
(in press, a) for the first time in South Asia. Reddy (in 
press, b) has also discovered a eustygobiont 
parabathynellid, Habrobathynella nagarjunai Reddy, 
in a well on the Nagarjuna University campus, Guntur. 

Paradoxically, the vast interstitial, hyporheic zone 
of the Indian streams and rivers, which is but an extension 
of the subterranean freshwater biotope (stygobion), has 
remained practically unexplored till now, as confirmed 
by G.C. Rao (pers. comm.), a noted marine 
meiobenthologist in India. Reddy (2001 , in press, a) has 
recorded in three peninsular rivers, i.e. Krishna, Godavari, 



and Pennar, ten harpacticoid and two bathynellacean 
species, seven of which are new to science: 

Copepoda Harpacticoida 

Parastenocaris gayatri Reddy 2001 (Fig. 2) 
Parastenocaris savita Reddy 2001 
Parastenocaris sandhya Reddy 2001 
Parastenocaris curvispinus Enckell 1970 
Parastenocaris n. sp. 

Leptastacus n. sp. (Fig. 3) 

Mesochra w>olskii Jakubisiak 1933 
Nitokra lacustris (Schmankevitsch 1875) 
Cletocamptus deitersi (Richard 1 897) 
Onychocamptus mohammed (Blanchard & 
Richard 1891) 

Syncarida Bathynellacea 

Habrobathynella schminkei Reddy (Fig. 5) 
Habrobathynella n. sp. 

With its highly diversified geomorphology, 
hydrography, and climate, the Indian subterranean 
freshwater biotope is quite likely to support rich faunal 
diversity as elsewhere, and thus holds enormous 
serendipitous potential for taxonomists and systematists. 
(Literally, specimens of many groundwater taxa, which 
are not yet known to science, are being continually 
consumed by man through raw water, or let into the 
sewers.) Considering that this special habitat has already 
become endangered owing, inter alia, to 
overexploitation and pollution of the water table, the 
national funding agencies would do well to encourage 
scientists to unearth the stygofaunal diversity in the 
country and delve into its adaptational biology. 
Stygobiology deserves to be treated as a distinct branch 
of science. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I thank Dr. K.K. Tiwari, former Director, 
Zoological Survey of India, for his comments on an 
earlier draft of the manuscript and for literature on 
isopods. Thanks are also due to my colleagues for their 
advice and/or literature: Dr. D. Defaye and Prof.C. 
Juberthie, France, Prof. G.L. Pesce, Italy, Prof. H.K. 
Schminke, Germany, Dr. T. Karanovic, Australia, Dr. K.N. 
Sankolli, Dr. G.C. Rao, and Dr. K. Ravindranath, India. 

March 13,2002 Y. RANG A REDDY 

Department of Zoology, 
Nagarjuna University, 
Nagarjunanagar 522 5 1 0, 
Andhra Pradesh, India. 
yrangreddy@yahoo.com 



188 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



REFERENCES 



Barr, T.C. (1968): Cave ecology and evolution of troglodytes. In : 
Evolutionary Biology 2 (Eds: Dobzhansky, Th., M.K. Hechj 
& Wm. C. Steere). North Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam. 
Pp. 35-102. 

Botosaneanu, L. (ed.) (1986): Stygofauna Mundi a faunistic 
distributional and ecological synthesis of the world fauna 
inhabiting subterranean waters (including the marine interstitial). 
E.J. Brill/Dr. W. Backhuys, Leiden. Pp. 1-740. 

Chappuis. PA. (1954): Copepods Harpacticoi'des des Indes et de 
I’lran. Bull. Soc Hist Nat. Toulouse 89(3/4): 213-224. 

Chopra, B. & K.K. Tiwari (1950): On a new genus of phreatoicid 
isopod from wells in Banaras. Rec. Indian Mus 47: 277-289, 
Pis. 17, 18. 

I Iusmann, S. ( 1 97 1 ): Ecological studies on freshwater meiobenthon 
in layers of sand and gravel In: Proceedings of the First 
International Conference on Meiofauna (Ed.: Hulings, N.C.). 
Smithson. Contr. Zool 76: 161-169. 

Karanovic, T. & G.L. Pesce (2001 ): A new genus and a new species 
of the family Ectinosomatidae (Crustacea: Copepoda: 
Harpacticoida) from the groundwaters of India. Ann. Limnol. 
37(4): 281-292. 

Kemp, S. (1924): Rec. Ind. Mus. 26: 42, PI. 3, figs. 1-4. 

Pesce, G.L. (1985): The groundwater fauna of Italy: a synthesis. 
Stygologia 1(2): 129-159. 

Pesce, G.L. & R. Pace (1984): Thermocyclops oblongatus (Sars) 
(Crustacea, Copepoda): a new cyclopid for the fauna of India, 
and zoogeography of the species. Proc. Indian natn. Sci. Acad., 

34. HYPERICUM GAIT1I HAINES (HYPE 
SOUTHERN PENINSULAR INDIA 

The genus Hypericum with about 400 species is 
cosmopolitan in distribution. 25 species of the genus have 
been reported from India (Sharmaand Sanjappa 1993), 
of which 5 species are so far known to occur in southern 
peninsular India. 

While working on the flora of Eastern Ghats, 
we collected an interesting species of Hypericum 
from the slopes of Galikonda hills of Visakhapatnam 
district, Andhra Pradesh. After critical study it was 
identified as Hypericum gciitii Haines and found to be 
a new record for southern peninsular India. This taxon 
has not been reported so far from Andhra Pradesh 
(Pullaiah and Chennaiah 1997). With this report, its 
distribution extends from east to south. A detailed 
description and illustration of this species is provided 
here. 

Hypericum gaitii Haines in J. Asiat. Soc. Beng. 
n.s. 15: 311. 1919 & Bot. Bihar & Orissa 1: 52.1925. 
Saxena & Brahmam FI. Orissa 1 : 111-112. 1 994. Sharma 
& Sanjappa FI. India 3: 58 f. 59.1997. 

Much branched glabrous shrub, 0.8-2 m tall; stem 
chartaceous, terete, reddish brown, internodes long, 
conspicuous. Leaves simple, opposite, decussate, elliptic- 
oblong, to oblong-lanceolate, rarely oblanceolate, 1 .5-6 



B50 (2): 133-138. 

Reddy, Y.R. (2001): Discovery of Parastenocarididae (Crustacea, 
Harpacticoida) in India, with the description of three new 
species of Parastenocaris Kessler, 1913, from the River Krishna 
at Vijayawada. Crustaceana 74(8): 705-733. 

Reddy, Y.R. (in press, a): Existence of the Order Bathynellacea 
(Crustacea, Syncarida) in South Asia: a new species of the 
genus Habrobathynella Schminke from River Pennar near 
Cuddapah, South India. J. Bombay nat. Hist Soc. 

Reddy, Y.R. (in press, b): Habrobathynella nagarjunai n. sp., the 
second representative of Bathynellacea (Crustacea, Syncarida) 
from Groundwaters of South India. Hydrobiologia. 

Rouch, R. ( 1 986): Sur l’ecologie des eaux souterraines dans le karst. 
Stygologia 2(4): 352-399. 

Sankolli, K.N. & S. Shenoy (1979): On a new genus and a species 
of a subterranean prawn Troglindicus phreaticus (Caridea, 
Palaemonidae). Bull Fish. Fac. Konkan Agri. Univ., India 1(1): 
83-91. 

Schminke, H.K. (1974): Mesozoic intercontinental relationships as 
evidenced by bathynellid Crustacea (Syncarida: Malacostraca). 
Syst. Zool. 23: 157-164. 

Schminke, H.K. (1981): Perspectives in the study of the 
zoogeography of interstitial Crustacea: Bathynellacea 
(Syncarida) and Parastenocarididae (Copepoda). Int J. Speleol. 
11: 83-89. 

Tiwari, K.K. (1958): Another new species of Nichollsia (Crustacea, 
Isopoda, Phrcatoicoidea). Rec. Indian Mus. 53: 379-381. 

CACEAE), A NEW RECORD FOR 

x 0.3- 1 .8 cm, glabrous, pale and black glandular beneath, 
apex subacute to acute, margin entire, base sub 
amplexicaul, midnerve and lateral nerves reddish-brown, 
lateral nerves 3 pairs, basal lateral nerves running 
towards apex, petiole 0. Flowers yellow, bisexual, 2-5 in 
dichotomous cymes, 2-3.5 cm across, pedicel 7-12 mm 
long; bracts elliptic-lanceolate, up to 1 1 mm long. Sepals 
5, green, free, imbricate, 8-1 0 x 4-6 mm, ovate or ovate- 
lanceolate, persistent in fruit. Petals obliquely obovate, 
3 x 1.7 cm, prominently veined, black-glandular punctate, 
distantly serrulate. Stamens numerous, combined into 
5 bunches, c. 25 each, epipetalous; filaments linear, 5 to 
1 .8 cm long, anthers yellow, 1 mm long. Ovary glabrous, 
ellipsoid, 7 mm long, 5- to 7-locular, broadly oblong, 
ovules many per locule on axile placentation; styles 5, 
rarely 6-7, 1 .2 cm long, basal ly connate, persistent; stigma 
capitate. Capsule ellipsoid or conical, dehiscing along 
placenta, 1 .2-1.5 cm long, tipped with persistent style; 
seeds numerous, brown, polished, 0.1 mm long, linear to 
oblong, acute to subacute at both ends, scalariform 
reticulate. 

FI.: February-May, 

Fr: April-June. 

Ecology: Rare on slopes of exposed hills. 



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Fig. 1: Hypericum gaitii Haines, A. Fruiting twig, B. Flowering twig, C. Bract, D. Sepal, E. Petal, 
F. Petal with staminal bundle, G. One staminal bunch, H. I. & J. Anthers, K. Pistil, L. Seed. 



Specimens examined: Galikonda lulls c. 1,250 m 
above msl, Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, 
KSM 21945 & 21956 

Distribution: Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and 
Madhya Pradesh - endemic. 

ACKNOWLEDG EM ENT 

We thank the Department of Science and 
Technology, New Delhi for financial support. We also 
Wank Dr. M. Brahmam, RRL, Bhubaneswar, Orissa 



for confirming the identity of the specimen. 

November 1 3, 200 1 K. SRI RAMA MURTHY* 

S. SANDHYA RANI 
T. PULLAIAH 
Department of Botany, 
Sri Krishnadevaraya University, 
Anantapur 5 1 5 003, Andhra Pradesh, India. 
^Present Address: Department of Botany, 
Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada 520 008, 
Andhra Pradesh, India. 



190 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



REFERENCES 

Sharma, B.D. & M. Sanjappa (1993): Flora of India. Portulacaceae - Pulliah, T. & E. Chennaiah(1997): Flora of Andhra Pradesh. Vol. 1. 
Ixonanthaceae, Vol. 3. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur. 

35. AMENDMENT TO AN ENDEMIC SPECIES DALBERGIA TINNE VELLIENSIS 
THOTH., FAMILY FABACEAE ON ITS REDISCOVERY FROM KALAKKAD- 
MUN D ANTHURA I TIGER RESERVE, INDIA 



Thothathri (1976) described Dalbergia 
tinnevelliensis sp. nov. from a fruiting specimen 
collected by Fischer in January 1917 (4045, CAL) from 
Mundanthurai, Tirunelveli district. This species is endemic 
to Tamil Nadu (Thothathri 1 987). During the inventory 
in the buffer zone of the Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger 
Reserve (KMTR), specimens of the species were 
collected in flowering and fruiting condition after a lapse 
of about 83 years. The description has been amended 
on the basis of these new collections. Illustration and 
other related details are provided to facilitate 
identification and conservation of the species. 

Dalbergia tinnevelliensis Thoth. in Ceylon J. Sci. 
(Bio. Sci.) 12(1): 47. 1976 

Shrub or tree, up to 5 m high; stems woody, 
lenticellate, glabrous; branchlets rigid, ending in thorns; 
thorns 0.6- 1 .7 x 0. 1 5-0.2 cm, glabrous. Leaves alternate, 
imparipinnate, 2.5-12.6 x 1-4 cm, in short clusters, 
stipulate; stipules caducous; leaflets 7-17 in each pinna, 
obovate, 1-2.7 x 0.5-1 .3 cm, acutely obtuse at base when 
young, cuneately obtuse at base when mature, entire at 
margin, obtusely retuse or emarginate at apex, 
subcoriaceous, pale green above, glaucous beneath; 
rachis puberulous; midvein prominent; lateral veins 
indistinct; petiolules c. 1.0 x 0.6 mm, puberulous. 
Inflorescence in axillary racemose panicles, 1.5-2. 5 x 

1 .7- 2 cm. Flowers bisexual, 5-merous, zygomorphic, 4- 
4.3 x 3. 7-3. 9 mm; bracts oblong-lanceolate, c. 1.5 x 
0.3 mm, puberulous outside, glabrous inside; bracteoles 
lanceolate, c. 0.9 x 0.3 mm, puberulous outside, glabrous 
within; pedicels c. 1.2 x 0.3 mm, puberulous. Calyx 
campanulate, brown, connate at base, 5-toothed above, 
glabrous, ciliate above middle; tube c. 2.0 x 1.5 mm; 
teeth unequal, upper 4 smaller, lower one larger; upper 
ones ovate, c. 1.1 x 0.9 mm, entire at margin, 2 teeth 
obtuse at apex, 2 teeth acute at apex; larger one oblong- 
lanceolate, entire at margin, acute at apex, hairy on midrib 
outside, c. 1.3 x 0.4 mm. Petals 5, whitish yellow; 
standard orbicular, 3.5-4. 1 x 3. 2-3. 8 mm, slightly auricled 
at base, entire at margin, retuse at apex; wings 2, oblong, 

2.8- 3 x 1 - 1 . 1 mm, adnate above, auricled at base, entire 
at margin, obtuse at apex; claw c. 0.5 x 0.2 mm; keels 2, 
oblong-obovate, 2.5-3 x 1-1.2 mm, obliquely auricled at 
base, entire at margin, adnate above, obtuse at apex; 



claw 0.5-0. 7 x 0.2-0.25 mm. Stamens 9, monadelphous, 
whitish yellow; staminal column free above, connate up 
to 1.2 x 1.2 mm; middle one longer, c. 1.5 x 0.2 mm; 
laterals 4, 2 each on either side, c. 1.2 x 0.2 mm; 
marginals 4, shorter than laterals, 2 each on either side, 
c. 1 x 0.2 mm; anthers basifixed, rectangular in shape, 
c. 0.25 x 0.5 mm, transverse. Ovary brown, stipitate, 
oblong, c. 3.25 x 1 mm; stipe c. 1 x 0.4 mm; ovules 4; 
style c. 0.35 x 0.25 mm; stigma terminal. Pod greenish 
- pale brown, indehiscent, flat, oblong-elliptic, 3. 6-5. 9 x 
1.2- 1.7 cm, acutely cuneate at base, entire and ribbed 
at margin, obtusely acute and rarely mucronate at apex, 
faintly reticulate, glabrous, 1 - or 2-seeded, stipitate; stipe 
2-5.2 x 0.4-0. 8 mm. Seeds 1 or 2, attached marginally, 
pale to dark brown when mature, reniform, 12.5-12.8 x 
6. 6-6. 9 mm. 

The distinguishing features between Dalbergia 
coromandeliana Prain and D. tinnevelliensis Thoth. 
are given in Table 1 . 

Specimens examined: India, Tamil Nadu, 
Tirunelveli district, Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger 
Reserve (KMTR): Ambasamudram Range, Singampatti 
beat, c. 250 m: 9 . i i i .200 1 , M.B. Viswanathan and 
S. Ramakrishnan 10336 & 10384; 1 0 . i i i .200 1 , 
M.B. Viswanathan and S. Ramakrishnan 10430; 

15.111.2001, M.B. Viswanathan and S. Ramakrishnan 

10459; 1 6 . i i i .200 1 , M.B. Viswanathan and 

S. Ramakrishnan 10514; 17. iii. 2001, M.B. Viswanathan 
and S. Ramakrishnan 10569; 19. iii. 2001, 

M.B. Viswanathan and S. Ramakrishnan 10589; 
3 . i v.200 1 , M.B. Viswanathan and M. Venkatesan 
12470; 8.V.2001, M.B. Viswanathan and M. Venkatesan 
13540; Kadayam Range, Ambur beat: c. 240 m: 
24.iv.2001, M.B. Viswanathan and S. Ramakrishnan 
13105; Kalakkad Range, Kalakkad beat, c. 300 m: 

9. 111. 2001 , M.B. Viswanathan and B. Jeyasuresh 1 0055 
& 10079; 18. iii. 2001, M.B. Viswanathan and 
B. Jeyasuresh 10087; 21 .iii. 2001, M.B. Viswanathan and 
B. Jeyasuresh 10726; 8.iv.2001, M.B. Viswanathan and 
B. Jeyasuresh 10769; Papanasam Range, Aladiyur beat, 
c. 200 m: 16. iii. 2001, M.B. Viswanathan and N. Andal 
10692. 

Habitat: Southern tropical thorn forest with trees 
of Allophylus serratus , Grewia rhamnifolia , Sapindus 



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191 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Figs. 1-19: Dalbergia tinnevelliensis: 1. A flowering twig; 2. A fruiting twig; 3. Leaflet; 4. Inflorescence; 5 Bract; 
6. Bracteole; 7. Flower; 8. Clayx; 9. Calyx split open; 10. Standard; 11. Wings; 12. Keels; 13. Staminal column; 
14. Stamen; 15. Ovary; 16. L.S. of Ovary; 17. C.S. of Ovary; 18. Pod; and 19 Seed 



emarginatus and Zizyphus xylopyrus, shrubs like 
Canthium parvifloruni, Capparis grandiflora, 
Dichrostachys cinerea, Osyris quadripartita, 
Securinega leucopyrus and Zizyphus oenoplia, herbs 
such as Adiantutn incisum, Aristida setacea, Justicia 



glauca, Barleria prionitis, Boerhavia diffusa, 
Commelina benghalensis, C. longifolia , Cyperus 
kyllinga, Digitaria setigera, Evolvulus alsinoides, 
Malvastrum coromandelianum, Mollugo pentaphylla 
and Orthosiphon thymiflorus, and climbers Argyreia 



192 



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MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



Table 1: Distinguishing features between Dalbergia coromandeliana and D. tinnevelliensis 



Characters 


D. coromandeliana Prain 


D. tinnevelliensis Thoth. 


Habit 


Shrub 


Shrub or Tree 


Lenticels 


Absent 


Present 


Leaves 


4-9 cm long, on tubercles 


3-12.6 cm long, in clusters 


Leaflets 


7-11, rarely up to 13, elliptic or cuneate-oblong, 
0.6-0. 9 cm long, rounded to cuneate at base, 
obtuse at apex 


7-17, obovate, 1-2.7 cm long, acutely obtuse or 
cuneately obtuse at base, obtusely retuse or 
emarginate at apex 


Petiolules 


c. 0.5 mm long 


c. 1 mm long 


Inflorescence 


Cymose panicles, 2. 0-3. 5 cm long 


Racemose panicles, 1.5-2. 5 cm long 


Flowers 


White to yellow 


Whitish yellow 


Bracts 


Lanceolate 


Oblong-lanceolate 


Bracteoles 


Ovate 


Lanceolate 


Pedicels 


1.5-2 mm long 


1-1.2 mm long 


Upper 4 calyx lobes 


Obtuse at apex, glabrous 


2 lobes obtuse and 2 lobes acute at apex, 
ciliate above middle 


Lower calyx lobe 


Lanceolate, glabrous 


Oblong-lanceolate, ciliate above middle 


Standard 


Ovate-orbicular to obovate, retuse to 
emarginate at apex 


Orbicular, retuse at apex 


Keel 


Oblong 


Oblong-obovate 


Ovary 


2-2.5 mm long, glabrous on ventral suture 


4.5-5 mm long, puberulous on upper part of 
ventral suture 


Ovules 


2-3 


4 


Pod 


Ovate-oblong, 1.7-3. 8 cm long, narrowed at 
base, subacute to acute at apex 


Oblong-elliptic, 3. 6-5. 9 cm long, acutely cuneate 
at base, obtusely acute and rarely mucronate at 
apex 


Reticulation against 
seed portion 


Distinct 


Faint 


Seeds 


1 


1 , rarely 2 



hirsuta, Cocculus hirsutus and Jasminum 
angustifolium var. sessiliflorum. In some areas, thickets 
formed by this species can be seen with sporadic 
presence of the parasitic Dendrophthoe falcata , Family 
Loranthaceae, on its branches. 

Note: Thothathri (1976) opined that branchlets 
have a tendency to form axillary thorns, whereas all the 
specimens examined by us had the branchlets ends 
transformed into thorns. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

The first author thanks the Forest Department of 
Tamil Nadu for funding under FREEP of the World 
Bank. Authors S.R., B.J., N.A., and M.V. are grateful 
for Junior Research Fellowships. All authors thank 
Dr. Sukhdev Thakur I.F.S., Chief Wildlife Warden, 
Chennai, Dr. V.K. Melkani I.F.S., Field Director and 
Conservator of Forests and Mr. Sugato Dutt I.F.S., Eco- 



development Officer, Project Tiger, Kalakkad- 
Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tirunelveli, for permission 
to collect plant specimens for authenticity and Messrs 
M. Muthuramakrishnan, K. Manikumaran, G. Ramesh 
Babu and C. Vanarajan for cooperation in the field, Mr. 
S.S. Mariappan for diagram and Mr. S.H. Ramkumar 
for technical assistance. 

June 18, 2002 M.B. VISWANATHAN 

S. RAMAKRISHNAN 
B. JEYASURESH 
N. ANDAL 
M. VENKATESAN 
Sri Paramakalyani Centre 
for Environmental Sciences, 
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, 
Alwarkurichi 627 412, 
Tamil Nadu, India. 
Email: vinaa@redifffnail.com 



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REFERENCES 

Thothathri, K. (1976): Studies in Leguminosae. 21 . A new species Thothathrj, K. (1987): Taxonomic revision of the tribe Dalbergieae 
of Dalbergia from South India. Ceylon J. Sci. (Biol. Sci.) in the Indian subcontinent. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, 

12(1): 47-48. pp. 127-129. 

36. TWO DISTRIBUTIONAL RECORDS OF CAESALPINIACEAE FOR 
TAMIL NADU 



During a botanical exploration on Tirunelveli hills 
and the adjoining regions, the authors collected interesting 
specimens of genus Caesalpinia L. and Cassia L. 
(Caesalpiniaceae). 

Study of the literature confirmed the specimens 
as Caesalpinia major (Medik.) Dandy & Exell and 
Cassia sericea Sw. The identification was confirmed 
by the Botanical Survey of India, Coimbatore. So far, 
they are not recorded from Tamil Nadu, so this 
constitutes a first record for the state. The nomenclature, 
diagnostic features, phenology, collection site, field 
numbers and distribution of the taxa have been provided. 
The voucher specimens have been deposited in 
St. Xavier’s College Herbarium (XCH), St. Xavier’s 
College, Palayamkottai. 

Caesalpinia major (Medik) Dandy & Exell, 
J. Bot. 76.180.1938; Fosberg, Taxon 22: 162.1793; 
Halltink, Reinwardtia 9:39. 1974; Verdecourt, Man. New 
Guinea Legum. 26.1979; Rudd in Dassanayake & 
Fosberg, Rev. Handb, FI. Ceylon. 7:49.1991. Bennet, 
Nam. Cha. Flow. PI. India and Adj. Regions, 88. 1987. 
Guilandina bonduc L. Sp. PI. ed. 2, 1: 545. 1762, Pro- 
parte non, L., 1753. Bonduc majus Medik., Theod. Spec. 
43, t.3, Sup. 1 786, excl. syn. L. Type: Frutex globulorum 
Rumph., Herb. Amboin. 5:89, t.48. 1747. Caesalpinia 
bonduc sensu auct. Roxb. FI. India 2: 362. 1832, non 
Guilandina bonduc L. 1753; Baker in Hook, f., FI. 
Brit. India 2: 255. 1 878; Guilandina major {DC.) Small, 
FI. Southeast U.S. 591, 1331. 1903; Skeels, Science, 
New Ser. 37: 922. 1913. Caesalpinia globurum (sic) 
Bakh. f. & Van Royen, Blumea 12: 62. 1963; Backer & 
Bakh. f., FI. Java 1: 545. 1963. C. jayabo Maza. ex 
Merr. In Interp. Herb. Amb. 261; Gamble, FI. Pres. 
Madras 1 : 394. 1997. (reprint). 

Armed stragglers; branch lets pubescent, recurved 
prickles. Leaves alternate, imparipinnate; leaflets 6-8 
pairs, opposite, elliptic-ovate, 6-11 x 3.5 cm, 
membranous, glossy, glabrous except midrib, sub-sessile. 
Flowers yellow in axillary simple/rarely branched 
racemes. Calyx gibbous, brown. Ovules 2-4, parietal. 
Style included. Pod obovoid, prickled, beaked at apex. 
Seeds 1-3. 



FI. & Fr: August-November. 

Specimens Examined: Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli 
district, Karayar, Manickam, 16910, 17153 (XCH). 

Remarks: Occasionally found in the moist 
deciduous forests. 

Distribution: India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, 
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra), Sri 
Lanka, Malay Islands, Polynesia, West Indies. 

Cassia sericea Sw., FI. Ind. Occ. 2(1): 274.1798; 
Griseb. FI. Brit. W. Indies. Ib.3: 209.1860; Singh, Bull. 
Bot. Surv. India 2 1 : 203 .1981; Saldanha, FI. Karnataka 
1:386.1984. 

Subshrub to 1 m; branchlets pubescent. Leaves 
alternate, paripinnate; leaflets 3-4 pairs, ovate-oblong, 
2-4 x 1-2.5 cm, pubescent, apex apiculate. Flowers 
yellow, in axillary short racemes. Sepals free, obovate. 
Antheriferous stamens 7. Pod flat, 4 cm long. Seeds 
7-9. 

FI. & Fr.: November- January. 

Specimens Examined: Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli 
district, Palayamkottai, near N.G.O. "B’ Colony, 
Murugan 20495 (XCH) 

Remarks: Occasionally found along the 
roadsides. 

Distribution: Native of tropical South America, 
naturalising in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra 
states of India. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank the University Grants Commission, India 
for financial assistance, the Chief Conservator of Forests, 
Chennai for permission to undertake field studies and 
Dr. V. Chelladurai and Dr. R. Gopalan for 
encouragement. 

November 1 5, 2001 C. MURUGAN 

V.S. MANICKAM 
Centre for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, 
Department of Botany, St. Xavier’s College, 
Palayamkottai 627 002, 
Tamil Nadu, India. 



194 



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37. CHIONANTHUS RAMIFLOR US ROXB. VAR. PENINSULA RIS RAVIKUM AR & 
LAKSHMANAN, AN EXTENDED DISTRIBUTION TO ANDAMAN & NICOBAR 
ISLANDS 



The genus Chionanthus L., Family Oleaceae, is 
primarily tropical, with a few species in temperate China 
and North America. In India, it is represented by 10 
species (Srivastava and Kapoor 1991). 

During the study of the herbarium specimens 
deposited in PBL, a sheet of Chionanthus ramiflorus 
Roxb. with notes "‘partieci Itirly large fruit” written by 
Ruth Kiew was found. On further scrutiny, it was 
identified as C. ramiflorus var. peninsular is Ravikumar 
& Lakshmanan which is so far known to occur along 
streams of evergreen forests and sholas in the Western 
Ghats (Ravikumar and Lakshmanan 1989). Flence, 
this is a case of extended distribution in India from 
the Western Ghats to the Andaman and Nicobar 
Islands. 

A brief description and illustration is provided to 
enable identification of this species. 

Chionanthus ramiflorus Roxb. var. peninsular is 
Ravikumar et Lakshmanan Bull. Bot. Surv. India, 31(1- 
4): 163. 1989. 

Trees. Leaves elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, cuneate 
at base, acute or shortly acuminate at apex, 2. 5- 1.3 x 
1 .2-6 cm., entire to undulate along margins, coriaceous, 
glabrous, light green above, pale green beneath; lateral 
veins 8-12 pairs; petiole 1-3.5 cm., glabrous. 
Infructescence 11-14 cm long, stout. Fruits ellipsoid, 
oblique, acute to short acuminate at apex, 3-3.5 x 1 .4- 
1.7 cm, smooth, glossy green when young, brownish- 
black when mature. Seeds 1-2 in number; stalk 4-8 mm 
long, stout, jointed. 

Specimen examined: North Nicobar, Car 
Nicobar, Tee Top, Sea level, 25. ii. 1976, N.G.Nair3534 
(PBL ). 




Fig. 1: Chionanthus ramiflorus Roxb. var. peninsularis 
Ravikumar & Lakshmanan, a. Habit 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

We thank Dr.N.P. Singh, Director, Botanical Survey 
of India, Kolkata for facilities and encouragement. 

November 15, 2001 R. SUMATH1 

J. JAYANTHI 
P.V. SREEKUMAR 
Botanical Survey of India, 
Andaman & Nicobar Circle, 
Port Blair 744 102, P.B. 602, Haddo, India. 

D. NARASIMHAN 
Department of Botany, 
Madras Christian College, 
Chennai 600 059, Tamil Nadu, India. 



REFERENCES 

Ravikumar, K.. & V. Lakshmanan ( 1 989): A new variety of Chionanthus ramiflorus Roxb. (Oleaceae) from South India. Bull Bot Surv India 
31(1-4): 163-165. 

Srivastava, S.K. & S.L. Kapoor ( 1991 ): Chionanthus Linn. (Oleaceae) in India. J. Econ. Tax. Bot 15(1): 129-141 



38. THOTTEA PAUCIFIDA DING HOU, FAMILY ARISTOLOCHIACEAE, 
A NEW RECORD FOR INDIA 



Thottea is an Indo-Malayan genus with distinctive 
leaf architecture. It is chiefly distributed in shady places 
of tropical low land forests. About 26 species have been 
reported worldwide of which 4 occur in India (Ding Hou 
in FI. Malesiana 10: 73. 1984). In Andaman and Nicobar 



Islands, it is represented by a single species Thottea 
tomentosa (Bl.) Ding Hou. (Vasudeva Rao 1986, 
Mathew 1988.) 

An unidentified species of Thottea collected from 
Rutland of South Andaman was found deposited in PBL. 



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195 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Fig. 1: Thottea paucifida, A. Habit, B. Twig with capsule, 
C. Seed 



The species was later identified as Thottea paucifida 
Ding Hou; earlier know to occur in Borneo. Ding Hou 
in his revision of Family Aristolochiaceae states that it 
has been collected just once from the banks of a stream 
flowing through stands of Rubber and other trees. 



This species is reported for the first time in 
India from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 
A brief description and illustration is provided for 
identification. 

Thottea paucifida Ding Hou, Blumea 27: 324. 
1981; Flora Malesiana 10: 73. 1984. 

Undershrubs. Leaves alternate coriaceous, elliptic 
to slightly obovate, 4-10 x 2-4.5 cm, cuneate, obtuse to 
slightly cordate at base, margin entire, apex acute to 
obtuse, densely villous below, glabrous above. Basal 
nerves 3; lateral nerves 4-5 pairs, elevated below, 
reticulate, obscure above. Petiole c. 3.5 mm long, 
angular, twisted at apex, glabrous. Seeds ellipsoid, 
c. 3 x 1.5 mm, transversely rugose. 

Note: Ding Hou in his revision states “Capsules 
Unknown”. Capsules and seeds are described here for 
the first time. 

Specimen examined: South Andaman, Rutland, 
1 9.vii. 1 986. J.L. Ellis, 12305 (PBL). 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

We thank Dr. N.P. Singh, Director, Botanical 
Survey of India, Kolkata for providing encouragement 
and facilities. 

June 8, 2002 R. SUMATHI 

VINOD MAINA 
G.S. LAKRA 
Botanical Survey of India, 
Andaman & Nicobar Circle, 
P.B. 602, Haddo, 
Port Blair 744 102, 
India. 



REFERENCES 

Mathew, S.P. (1988): A supplementary report on the flora and Vasudeva Rao, M.K. (1986): A preliminary report on the 
vegetation of Bay Islands, India. J. Econ. Tax. Bot. 22(2): angiosperms of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. J. Econ. Tax. 

249-272. Bot. 8(1): 107-184. 

39. JUNCUS SPUMOSUSNOLTIE (JUNCACEAE), A NEW RECORD FOR INDIA 



During plant exploration in Dibang Valley, 
Arunachal Pradesh, we collected an interesting species 
of Juncus, which was kindly identified by Dr. F. 
Miyamoto of Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan, to 
be Juncus spumosus Noltie. He also pointed out that 
the species constituted a new record for India. 

A brief description and line drawing based on our 
own collections and relevant data are given to facilitate 
identification in the field. 

Material Examined: Dibang Valley, Mayodia 
Pass, 2635 m, 20.viii.2000, M. Bhaumik & M.K. Pathak 



2904 - CAL) 

Juncus spumosus Noltie in Edinburg J. Bot. 
51(2): 139. 1994. 

Rhizomaceous herb, borne singly, sometimes with 
one or two offspring. Rhizome short, knobby. Stem 30- 
75 cm long, terete, arching over. Stem leaves 3-5, 7- 
1 8.5 cm long, 1 .5-5 mm broad, channeled throughout or 
at least on upper part, k V’ shaped in cross section. Leaf 
sheaths gradually narrowed into blades. Ligules absent. 
Inflorescence terminal, 13-21 headed, 3-12 flowered 
with chestnut brown to deep glossy brown capitula. 



196 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 




Fig. 1: Juncus spumosus Noltie, A. Habit, B. Part of inflorescence, C. Flower, D. Bract, E. Outer perianth, F. Inner perianth, 
G. Stamen, H. Capsule, I. Cross Section of leaf, basal part, J. Cross section of leaf, upper part, K. Cross section of stem, 
L. Cross section of capsule 



Bract 1 .5-2 x 1 .5 mm, ovate, membranous. Flowers 8 x 
3.5 mm, bracteate, shortly pedicellate, chaffy brown to 
deep brown. Outer tepals 3, 2.5 x 1 mm, boat shaped 
with prominent mid-vein, chaffy brown. Inner tepals 3, 
3-3.5 x 1 mm, boat shaped with prominent mid-vein, 
acute, chaffy brown. Stamens 6, exerted, exceeding the 
tepals, straw coloured. Filament 3.5 mm long, filiform 
with broad bases. Anther lobe 1 x 0.5 mm, basifixed. 
Gynaecium 7 x 4.5 mm, ovate, deep glossy brown; style 
2 mm, stigma triforked, mildly twisted with granular 
deposition. Seeds 2-tailed, 0.5-0.75 mm long. 

Distribution: India-Arunachal Pradesh; Bhutan, 
China. 

Notes: The plants were found bearing flowers and 
immature fruit at the time of collection. They were 
growing on moist, open, sandy hill slopes in association 
with Chimonobambusa callosa (Munro) Nakai, 
Eriophorum comosum (Wall.) Wall, ex Nees, 
Gaultheria spp., Rubus calophyllus C.B. Clarke and 
R. lineatus Reinw. The area experiences heavy rainfall 
and is snow bound during winter. 



Though the species grows within the protected 
Dibang Dihang Biosphere Reserve, its habitat is 
threatened due to regular landslides and road 
reconstruction. Only a small population of about fifteen 
plants was found confined in the said locality. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We are grateful to the Director, Botanical Survey 
of India, to Dr. M. Sanjappa and Dr. S.K. Verma for 
help and encouragement. 

November 1 5, 200 1 M. BHAUMIK* 

M.K. PATHAK 
Botanical Survey of India, 
P.O. Botanic Garden, 
Howrah 711 103, West Bengal, India. 
*Present Address: Botanical Survey of India, 
Eastern Circle, Lower New Colony, 
Shillong 793 003, Meghalaya, India. 
Email: drmanas bhaumik@rediffmail.com 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (1), Jan. -Apr. 2004 



197 




MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



40. FIVE NEW RECORDS OF PLANTS FROM TAMIL NADU 



During a botanical exploration in Tirunelveli hills, 
Tamil Nadu, we came across five plant species, hitherto 
unreported from Tamil Nadu (Henry etal. 1987, Hooker 
1872-1897). The nomenclature, brief diagnostic 
characters, phenology, collection site, field numbers and 
notes on the ecology and distribution of these taxa have 
been recorded. 

Canthium pergracile Bourd. in J. Bombay nat. 
Hist. Soc. 12: 352, t.4., 1915. (Rubiaceae) 

Trees. Leaves elliptic. Flowers green - pale 
yellow. 

FI. & Fr.: June-August. 

Specimens examined: Manickam et al., 
Papanasam hills, 12905, 15793, 16179 (XCH), 
Sundaresan et al., Puliarai, 17024 (XCH). 

Remarks: Rare in evergreen forests up to 
1,000 m. 

Distribution: Southern Western Ghats (India). 

Hedy otis wynaadensis (Gamble) Rolla Rao & 
Hemadri in Ind. Forester 99: 372-380. 1973. (Rubiaceae) 

Large shrubs. Leaves oblong - oblanceolate. 
Flowers white. 

FI. & Fr.: June-August. 

Specimen examined: Manickam et al., 
Papanasam hills, 17068 (XCH). 

Remarks: Rare in moist deciduous forests at 
350 m along stream banks. 

Distribution: Western Ghats, India. 

J as mi man roxburghianum Wall, ex Clarke, FI. 
Brit. India 3: 595. 1 887. (Oleaceae) 

Climbing shrubs. Leaves ovate - elliptic or 
lanceolate. Flowers white. 

FI. & Fr.: July-September. 

Specimen examined: Sundaresan et al., 
Papanasam hills, 16882 (XCH). 

Remarks: Rare in deciduous forests at 200 m. 

Distribution: South India. 



Litsea mysorensis Gamble in Kew Bull. 1925: 130. 
1925 & FI. Pres. Madras, 2: 865. 1957 [repr. ed], 
(Lauraceae) 

Trees. Leaves linear - lanceolate. Flowers white. 
FI. & Fr.: July-August. 

Specimens examined: Manickam et al., Upper 
Kothayar, 13578, 13585 (XCH). 

Remarks: Rare in open evergreen forests at 
1,450 m. 

Distribution: Western Ghats (India). 

Meyna laxiflora Robyns in Bull. Jard. Bot. Brux. 
1 1 : 228. 1 928. (Rubiaceae) 

Large shrubs. Leaves ovate - oblong. Flowers green. 
FI. & Fr.: April-June. 

Specimen examined: Sundaresan et al., 
Papanasam hills, 15751 (XCH) 

Remarks: Found rarely in moist deciduous forests 
at 600 m. 

Distribution: India and Java. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank Dr. R. Gopalan, Systematic Botanist, 
Botanical Survey of India, Southern Circle, Coimbatore 
for confirming the taxa and University Grants 
Commission for financial aid. 

June 1 8, 2002 V.S. MANICKAM 

V. SUNDARESAN* 
G.J. JOTHI 
C. MURUGAN 
Centre for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, 
St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai 627 003, 

Tamil Nadu, India. 

*Present address: Central Institute of Medicinal 
and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), 
Lucknow 226 016, Uttar Pradesh, India. 



REFERENCES 



Gamble, J.S.J 1921 -1925): Flora of the Presidency of Madras. Adlard 
& Sons, L,ondon. 

Henry, A.N., G.R. Kumari & V. Chithra (1987): Flora of Tamil 



Nadu, India. I : Analysis. Vol. 2. BSI, Coimbatore. 

Hooker, J.D. (1872-1897): The Flora of British India. Vols. 1-7. 
Reeve & Co., London. 



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Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers under RN 5685/57 ISSN 0006-6982 

CONTENTS 

EDITORIAL 

BIRDS OF KAWAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, ANDHRA PRADESH, 

By C. Srinivasulu 3 

THE FIRST RECORDINGS OF CALLS OF THE JERDON’S COURSER RHINOPTILUS BITORQUATUS 
(BLYTH), FAMILY GLAREOLIDAE 

By Panchapakesan Jeganathan and Simon R. Wotton 26 

THE AFTERMATH OF THE PLEISTOCENE IN THE UPPER NILGIRIS OF SOUTHERN INDIA 

By Wiliam A. Noble /.. 29 

STATUS AND CONSERVATION OF THE WILD BUFFALO BUBALUS BUBALIS IN PENINSULAR INDIA 
By M.K. Ranjitsinh, S.C. Verma, S.A. Akhtar, VinodPatil, K. Sivakumar and 

S . Bhanubhakude 64 

UNREPORTED APPEASEMENT BEHAVIOURS IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPH AS MAXIMUS) 

By PA. Rees , 71 

A MODEL FOR ESTIMATING BUTTERFLY SPECIES RICHNESS OF AREAS ACROSS THE INDIAN 
SUBCONTINENT: SPECIES PROPORTION OF FAMILY PAPILIONIDAE AS AN INDICATOR 

By Arun P. Singh and Rajiv Pandey 79 

NEST-SITE CHARACTERISTICS OF BLACK-NECKED STORK (EPHIPPIORHYNCHUS ASIATICUS) 

AND WHITE-NECKED STORK ( CICONIA EPISCOPUS) IN KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK, 
BHARATPUR, INDIA 



By Farah Ishtiaq, Asad R. Rahmani, Salim Javed and Malcolm C. Coulter 90 

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS AND LARVAL PERFORMANCE OF SOME SOUTH INDIAN 
BUTTERFLY SPECIES 

J.B. Atluri, C. Subba Reddi and S.P Venkata Ramana 96 

LARVAL FOOD PLANTS OF EMPEROR MOTHS AND HAWKMOTHS OF SANJAY GANDHI 
NATIONAL PARK, BORIVLI, MUMBAI (LEPIDOPTERA: SATURNIIDAE AND SPHINGIDAE) 

By V. Shubhalaxmi andNaresh Chaturvedi 1 06 



NEW DESCRIPTIONS 

A NEW SPECIES OF WOLF SPIDER (ARANEAE: LYCOSIDAE) FROM CROP FIELDS OF THE 



SUNDARBAN ESTUARY, WEST BENGAL, INDIA 

ByS.C.Majumder 121 

NEW ORB-WEAVING SPIDERS OF THE GENUS CYRTOPHORA SIMON (ARANEAE: ARANEIDAE) 
FROM BANGLADESH 

By V. Biswas and D. Raychaudhuri 124 

TWO NEW SPECIES OF PUNTIUS HAMILTON-BUCHANAN (CYPRINIFORMES: CYPRINIDAE) 
FROM MANIPUR, INDIA, WITH AN ACCOUNT OF PUNTIUS SPECIES FROM THE STATE 

By W. Vishwanath and Juliana Laisram 130 

A NEW NEMACHEILINE FISH OF THE GENUS SCHISTURA MCCLELLAND (CYPRINIFORMES: 
BALITORIDAE) FROM MANIPUR, INDIA 

By W. Vishwanath and K. Shanta 138 

CEROPEGIA ANANTII (ASCLEPIADACEAE), A NEW SPECIES FROM WESTERN GHATS, INDIA 

By S.R. Yadav, M.M. Sardesai and S.P. Gaikwad 141 

REVIEWS V 144 

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES \ 149 




INDIA 



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| JOURNAL 

OF THE 

BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 



AUGUST 2004 



VOL 101 (2) 



JOURNAL OF THE BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY 

Hornbill House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg, Mumbai 400 023. 



Executive Editor 
Asad R Rahmani, Ph D 
Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai 

Copy and Production Editor 

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Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai 

Editorial Board 



M R. Almeida, D Litt. 

Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai 

Ajith Kumar, Ph D 

National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, 
Hebbal, Bangalore 

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Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre 
for Advanced Scientific Research, 

Bangalore 

Anwaruddin Choudhury, Ph D 
The Rhino Foundation for Nature, Guwahati 

Indraneil Das, D. Phil. 

Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, 
Universiti Malaysia, Sarawak, Malaysia 

Raghavendra Gadagkar, Ph. D. 

Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, 

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 

Y.V. Jhala, Ph D 

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun 

K. Ullas Karanth, Ph D. 

Wildlife Conservation Society - India Program, 
Bangalore, Karnataka 



T.C Narendran, Ph. D, D Sc. 
Professor, Department of Zoology, 
University of Calicut, Kerala 

Aasheesh Pittie, B Com. 

Bird Watchers Society of Andhra Pradesh, 
Hyderabad 

G.S. Rawat, Ph. D. 

Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun 

K Rema Devi, Ph. D 
Zoological Survey of India, Chennai 

J S. Singh, Ph. D. 

Professor, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 

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University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, 
Hebbal, Bangalore 

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Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, 
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 

Romulus Whitaker, B Sc 
Madras Reptile Park and Crocodile Bank Trust, 
Tamil Nadu 



Consultant Editors 

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Wildlife Conservation Society, Bangalore 

Nigel Collar, Ph D. 

BirdLife International, UK 

Rhys Green, Ph. D 

Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK 

QamarQureshi, M. Phil 
Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun 

T J. Roberts, Ph. D. 

World Wildlife Fund - Pakistan 



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VOLUME 101 (2): AUGUST 2004 l ^AR 2 2 2QQ$ ■ ) 
CONTENTS ^^ j-ARlEt 

EDITORIAL 199 

MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALEMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY PART 1 : GASTROPODA 

By Deepak Apte 201 

REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE ( ARACHNIDA: SCHIZOMIDA) ON THE BASIS OF 
TYPES DEPOSITED BY F.H. GRAVELY ( 1 9 1 1 - 1 925 ) IN THE NATIONAL COLLECTION, ZSI, KOLKATA 
By D.B. Bastawade 211 

DETERMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIOMASS CONSUMED AND SCATS PRODUCED IN CAPTIVE 
ASIATIC LIONS (PANTHERA LEO PERSICA ) AND LEOPARDS (PANTHERA PARDOS) 

By S. Mukherjee and S.P. Goyal 221 

NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF FERNS AND THEIR RELATION TO INSECT INFESTATION FROM DARJEELING 
FOOTHILLS AND PLAINS 

By A. Mukhopadhyay and D. Thapa 224 

ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS, NORTHEAST INDIA 

By A. Christy Williams and A. J.T. Johnsingh 227 

KEMMANGUNDI REVISITED: NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS, KARNATAKA, 
SOUTH INDIA 

By S. Thejaswi 235 

THE IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS ORCAELLA BREVIROSTR1S OF CHILIKA LAGOON, INDIA 

By R.K. Sinlia 244 

ECOBIOLOGY OF INDIAN WILD BUFFALO BUBALUS ARNEE L. IN UDANTI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, 
CHHATTISGARH, INDIA 

By P.C. Kotwal and Rajendra Prasad Mishra 252 

AN EVALUATION OF CROP PROTECTION METHODS IN KERALA 

By A. Veeramani, P.S. Easa andE.A. Jayson 255 

WINTERING RECORDS, ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR OF KASHMIR FLYCATCHER FICEDULA SUBRUBRA 
(HARTERT & STEINBACHER) 

By Ashfaq Ahmed Zam and Asad R. Rahmani 261 

DESCRIPTIONS OF NEW LEPIDOPTERA FROM THE KUMAON HIMALAYA 

By Peter Smetacek 269 

NEW DESCRIPTIONS 

EXISTENCE OF THE ORDER BATHYNELLACEA (CRUSTACEA, SYNCARIDA) IN SOUTH ASIA: A NEW SPECIES 
OF GENUS HABROBA THYNELLA SCHMINKE 1973, FROM RIVER PENN A R, SOUTH INDIA 

By Y. Ranga Reddy 277 

A NEW SPECIES OF USCANA GIRAULT (TRICHOGRAMMATIDAE: HYMENOPTERA) FROM THE EGGS OF FIELD 
BRUCHIDS 

By H.R, Pajni and P.K. Tewan 285 

A NEW SPECIES OF SPIDER OF THE GENUS PEUCETIA THORELL (OXYOPIDAE: ARANEAE) FROM DIGHA, 
MIDNAPORE, WEST BENGAL, INDIA 

By Sumana Saha and Dinendra Raychaudhuri 288 

BRA CHI ARIA M ARSE LIN I SP.NOV. A NEW SPECIES OF POACEAE FROM MAHARASHTRA 

By Nitin D. Gawade and B.G. Gavade 291 

A NEW SPECIES OF SP/RULINA (= ARTHROSPIRA) MAHAJANI MAHAJAN FROM KHARGONE, MADHYA 
PRADESH 

By S.K. Mahajan 294 

A NEW SPECIES OF THE BLIND FISH HORA G/MVYSMENON (SILUROIDEA: CLARIIDAE) FROM PARAPPUKARA 
(TRICHUR DISTRICT) AND A NEW REPORT OF HORA G LAN IS KRISHNA/ MENON FROM ETTUMANLIR 
(KOTTA YAM DISTRICT), KERALA 

By K.K. Subhash Babu and C.K.G. Nayar 296 



REVIEWS 



1. MALARIA IN THE THAR DESERT: FACTS, FIGURES AND FUTURE 



Reviewed by Rachel Reuben 299 

2. FRESHWATER FISHES OF PENINSULAR INDIA 

Reviewed by Ranj it Manakadan 300 

3. FLORA OF UDUPI 

Reviewed by M.R. Almeida 301 

4. ON THE SPADE-NOSED SHARK, SCOLIODONLA TIC A UDUS 

Reviewed by B.F. Chhapgar 302 



MISCELLANEOUS NOTES 



MAMMALS 



1. Record of a Leopard Panthera pardus in Pulicat 
Lake 

By V. Kannan and Ranjit Manakadan 304 

2. Occurrence of Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus 
sphinx (Vahl) in villages ofTamil Nadu State, India 
By Govindasamy Agoramoorthy and 

Minna J. Hsu 304 

3. A note on distinguishing Gerbillus gleadowi and 
Gerbillus nanus based on their footprints in the 
Thar Desert, India 

By Shomen Mukherjee and S.P. Goyal 305 

4. Rhinoceros rugosus — a name for the Indian 
Rhinoceros 

By Kees Rookmaaker 308 



BIRDS 



5. Observations on chick mortality in Darter Anhinga 
melanogaster in Gir forest 

By B.J. Pathak, S. Vijayan and B.P. Pati 310 

6. Sighting of White-bellied Heron Ardea insignis Hume 
in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary 

By Mrigen Baruah, Gagen Chettri and Prasanta 
Bordoloi 311 

7. Black Stork Ciconia nigra in and around Gir forest, 

Gujarat 

By B.J. Pathak, S. Vijayan, B.P. Pati and 

M.K. Belim Hanif 311 



8. Sighting of the Greater Adjutant-Stork Leptoptilos 
dubius in Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, 
Bihar, India 

By Sunil K. Choudhury, Sushant Dey, 



Subhasis Dey and Arun Mitra 313 

9. Sighting of Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca 
from Mumbai, Maharashtra 

By Ashok Verma 314 

10. Status of White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus 
leucogaster in Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra 

By Vishwas Katdare, Ram Mone and Pramod Joshi 314 
11 Does the White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus 
leucogaster feed on cattle dung? 

By V. Kannan and Ranjit Manakadan 316 

12. Unusually high mortality of cranes in areas adjoining 
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 

By Gargi Rana and Vibhu Prakash 317 

13. Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus: an 
addition to the avifauna of Rajasthan 

By Harkiral Singh Sangha and Manoj Kulshreshtha 3 1 8 



14. Nesting of terns on Vengurla Rocks, District 
Sindhudurg, Maharashtra 

By Vishwas Katdare, Ram Mone and Sachin Palkar 3 1 8 

15. Common Hoopoe ( Upupa epops) feeding on Prinia 
(Prinia sp.) corpse 

By Girish A. Jathar 319 

16. Indian Pitta Pitta brachyura in the Thar Desert 

By Himmat Singh 319 

17. Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris in Arunachal 
Pradesh, India 

By R Suresh Kumar 320 

18. Sight record of Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris 
near Delhi 

By Martin Kelsey 321 

19. Nidification of the Common Raven Corvus corax 
in the Thar Desert 

By Harkirat Singh Sangha and Rishad Naoroji 321 

20. Unusual numbers of Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike 
Coracina melanoptera at Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu 

By S. Thejaswi 323 

21 . On the behaviour and habitat preference of Stoliczka’s 
Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha (Stoliczka) 

By M.K. Himmatsinhji 323 

22 Occurrence of the Grey Bushchat Saxicola ferrea 
(Gray) nearNanjanagud, Mysore district, Karnataka 
By S. Thejaswi and A. Shivaprakash 324 

23. Eurasian Linnet (Carduelis cannabina ), Chaffinch 
( Fringilla coelebs) and Brambling (Fringilla 
montifringilla) in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh 

By Jan Willem Den Besten 325 

24. Records of some new avian species in the Thar 
Desert of Rajasthan 

By Anil Kumar 326 



INSECTS 



25. Sight record of polyphenic forms of Appias albina 
darada C. & R. Felder (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) in 
the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve 

By C.F. Binoy and George Mathew 328 

26. On a misidentification of the Mud Dauber Wasp 
parasite Macrosiagon ferrugineum (Fabricius) 
(Coleoptera: Rhipiphoridae) in India 

By Zachary H. Falin 329 



OTHER INVERTEBRATES 

27. Observations on Lingula anatina (Lamarck 1801 ) 
from Karwar waters, Karnataka, India 
By S. Veena and V.N. Nayak 330 



n 



BOTANY 

28. Mucuna sempervirens Hemsl. (Leguminosae: 

Papiliorudeae)- a new report for Arunachal Pradesh 
By M.K Pathak and M. Bhaumik 

29. Memecylon wightii Thw. ( Melastomataceae), a new 
record for Maharashtra State 

By Balkrishna G. Gavade 



331 



30. Leptolejeimea balansae Steph (Hepaticae 
Jungermanmales) - a new record of Bryoflora from 
the Indian mainland 

By A. E D Daniels and P. Daniel 333 



Cover Photograph: Kashmir Flycatcher 
Ficedula sitbrubrci by Ashfaq Ahmed Zam 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 

We ARE GRATEFUL TO THE MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 
Govt of India, 

FOR ENHANCED FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THE PUBLICATION OF THE JOURNAL. 



Editorial 



Towards globalization of biodiversity 

Charles S. Elton is considered the father of the biology of invasive species. His seminal book the ecology of 
invasions by animals and plants, first published in 1958, is still considered a classic and compulsory reading for 
anyone interested in this fast growing branch of ecology. Dispersal is a natural process, a part of evolution and 
ecology. In the case of plants, it generally takes place through seeds or spores, while in vertebrates it is mostly 
through the movement of adult animals. Few immigrants survive the hazards of the 'new world’, competition from 
the native species and stochastic forces. Only a small percentage becomes naturalized, most die off due to natural 
causes. Some naturalized species do become invasive (Mack et al. 2000). It is these species we will discuss in this 
editorial. 

All along our evolutionary history and travel, we human beings have helped in the spread of non-indigenous 
species into new territories. Perhaps some of the first species to travel to new territories with us were the goats, 
dogs and cereals. For millennia, we have served as both accidental and deliberate dispersal agents. This phenomenon 
is increasing exponentially with the increase in international travel and commerce. Non-indigenous species are 
appearing in new areas at a rate never seen in the history of this planet. This is resulting in the creation of 
homogenous ecosystems, with the same species of plants and animals everywhere. Distances are disappearing, 
barriers are breaking down and the world is becoming a global village - we are seeing the globalization of 
biodiversity. Or, to put it better, the globalization of monocultures. We find Eucalyptus spp. plantations everywhere, 
and most of the tropical wetlands are choked with Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes. 

In India, the environmental and socio-economic impacts of alien invasive species such as the Water Hyacinth, 
Fantana Lantana camara, Mesquite Prosopis chilensis , Water Fettuce Pistia sp., Scotch Broom Cytisus scoparius , 
and Congress Grass Parthenium hysterophorus , are evident to foresters and conservationists. Estimates of 
economic damage caused by invasives are not available for India. The cost of control of such invaders in USA 
exceeds $138 billion per year (Mack et al. 2000). Globally, almost 20% of the vertebrates thought to be in danger of 
extinction are threatened in some way by invasive species. The single biggest tragedy is the probably the loss of 
at least 200 of the 300 endemic cichlid species in Lake Victoria as a result of the introduction of the Nile Perch Lates 
niloticus to the lake (Lowe-McConnell 1993). In India, the impact of Tilapia , a fish brought from Africa, on the 
native fish fauna is not properly studied. This invasive species was deliberately introduced in the Western Ghats 
where some of the most endangered and endemic fish fauna are found. Since 1 800, invasive species have entirely 
or partially caused the majority of bird extinctions ( BirdLife International 2000). Virtually all these extinctions were 
of island birds lacking natural defences against introduced predators particularly rats, cats and mongooses. 
Introduced competitors, herbivores and plants impact on 72, 71 and 69 globally threatened species respectively. 
The highly restricted-range Narcondam Hombill Aceros narcondami , found only on the 7.5 sq. km Narcondam 
Island, is negatively impacted through over-grazing by the semi-feral goats which are damaging forest regeneration. 
If these feral goats are not eliminated, it is estimated that in another 80 years there would not be enough old Ficus 
trees for these hombills to nests (Ravi Sankaran, pers. comm. 2002). The negative impact of introduced Chital 
Axis axis on forest ecosystems on the islands of Andaman and Nicobar is well known and needs immediate action. 

The impacts of various invasive species need urgent attention from the Government of India, as the problem 
is growing with the accelerated rate of species movements through trade, transport, travel and ballast water. The 
latter is considered to be the most important vector for trans-oceanic and inter-oceanic movements of invasive 
marine organisms. Good scientific knowledge and understanding of how alien species become harmful to ecosystems 
and to species is a prerequisite for adequate mitigation measures. This is a branch of ecology on which not much 
attention has been given by Indian scientists and conservationists. We do not even have a clear-cut policy on the 
introduction of non-indigenous species. Australia has recently adopted a national weed policy aimed at reducing 
the impact of plant invaders and South Africa is determined to clear all the invasive woody species from its river 
catchments in a 20 year programme (Mack et al. 2000). The National Wildlife Action Plan 2002-2016 (Ministry of 
Environment and Forests 2002) devotes one line to the problem of invasive species, while the draft National 
Environment Policy: 2004 of the Ministry of Environment and Forests is silent on this issue. 



Article 8(h) of the Convention on Biological Diversity requires parties “as far as possible and as appropriate, 
[to] prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or 
species”. 

Invasive species are also known to cause major economic losses in agriculture, forestry and several other 
segments of Indian economy and these losses should be systematically assessed through appropriate criteria and 
indicators. Some rough estimates, based on some simplistic and selective criteria, indicate economic and 
environmental losses to exceed US $ 115 billion per year (Pimentel et al. 2001 ). These estimates, however, require 
validation based on proper socio-economic surveys conducted for this purpose (Rana 2004). 

We have many laws which are supposed to prevent the introduction, accidental or intentional, of non-native 
species. Some of the laws are as follows: 

The Destructive Insects and Pests Act, 1914 (amendments in 2001 ) 

The Plants, Fruits and Seeds Order, 1989 (amendments in 2001 ) 

The Seeds Act, 1966 (and the Seeds Rules, 1968) 

EXIM Policy 2002-2007 

Indian Livestock Importation Act, 1 898 (amendments in 200 1 ) 

The Fisheries Act, 1897 (along with State Fisheries Acts) 

The Protection of Plants Varieties & Fanners Rights Act, 200 1 

However, these laws are either flawed or outdated, and generally not seriously implemented. The National 
Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2004) recommends enactment of legislation to establish an autonomous 
Quarantine Authority of India, to control the entry of alien invasive species. Considering that the scope of dealing 
with invasive alien species is multi-dimensional and requires multi-disciplinary inputs, there is an urgent need for 
establishing the National Invasive Species Council. 

ASAD R. RAHMANI 



Further Reading 

BirdLife International (2000): Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions and Birdlife International, Barcelona and 
Cambridge, UK. 

Ei ton, C.S. ( 1958): The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants. Methuen, London. 

Lowe-McConnell, R.H. (1993): Fish faunas of the African Great Lakes: origin, diversity, and vulnerability. Conservation 
Biology 7: 634-643. 

Mack, R.N., D. Simberloff, W.M. Lonsdale, FI. Evans, M. Clout & F.A. Bazzaz(2000): Biotic invasions: Causes, Epidemiology, 
Global Consequences, and Control. Ecological Applications 10(3): 689-710 

Ministry of Environment and Forests (2002): National Wildlife Action Plan: 2002-2016. Ministry of Environment and 
Forests, Government of India. New Delhi, pp 46. 

Rana, R.S. (2004): Invasive alien species and biodiversity: Indian Perspective. In: National Biodiversity Strategy and Action 
Plan (Ed.: Kothari, Ashish). Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and Kalpavriksh, New Delhi 
and Pune. 

Pimentel. D , S. McNair, J. Janecka, J Wightman, C. Simmonds, C. O’Connell, E. Wong, L. Russel, .1. Zern, 
T. Aquino & T. Tsomondo (2001 ): Economic and environmental threats of alien plant, animal and microbe invasions. 
Agric. Ecosys. Environ 84: 1-20. 



200 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



201-210 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 
PART 1: GASTROPODA' 

Deepak Apte 2 
'Accepted June 2001 

Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House. S B Singh Road, Mumbai 400 023, Maharashtra, India. 

Email bn hs@bom4.vsnl.net- in 

Studies were conducted in Point Calimere, located on the Coromandel coast in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu 
Point Calimere has diverse habitats, including sandy shores, mangroves and salt pans. Large numbers of molluscs are 
dragged out by fishing nets, and killed in thousands. Volva sowerbyana, Tudicla spiralis , Strombus plicatus sibbaldi and 
Conus milne-edwardsi were recorded for the first time from this area C. milne-edwardsi was recorded after 80 years 
along the Indian coast, from which there is only one published record, in Mumbai in 191 2 



Key words: Point Calimere, Gastropoda, Mollusca 

INTRODUCTION 

The Indian coastline is rich in molluscan diversity. 
Some literature is available on this diversity, notable among 
which are the works of Crichton (1941), Gravely ( 1 94 1 , 1 942 ), 
Subrahmanyam et a I ( 1952), Kundu ( 1965a, b), Subba Rao 
( 1971, 1977, 1980), Rajgopal and Mukherjee ( 1978, 1982), 
Mookherjee (1985), Subba Rao et al. (1984, 1 986, 1 993 ) and 
Apte (1993). The only comprehensive work on the molluscan 
fauna of the southeastern coast of India is by Satyamurthi 
(1952. 1956). However, recent work on these molluscs was 
found to be inadequate. To update the stams of molluscan 
diversity, several surveys were conducted on the southeast 
coast of India from 1990-1999. The present paper is part of 
this survey. 

STUDY AREA 

Point Calimere is located on the Coromandel coast in 
the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu (10° 18'N, 79°51'E). Itis 
bordered by the Bay of Bengal on the east and Palk Strait on 
the south. Point Calimere is represented by sandy shores, 
mangroves and salt pans. Mudflats are also seen near the old 
lighthouse. Tidal action is very high; thus shells with delicate 
sculpture are virtually absent, or the sculpture is eroded or 
absent. 

Duration; The survey was conducted during December 
18-28, 1998 and December 22-28, 1 999 The present paper does 
not report the entire gastropod fauna of Point Calimere, but 
only the dominant species. 

Threats; Large numbers of molluscs are dragged by 
fishing nets, and get killed in thousands. The important 
species dragged are Turntella cicut cingula , T. attenuate i, 
Phalium areola , Murex trapa , M. badius , Rapana bulbosa , 
Hemifusus pugilinus, Oliva oliva , O. gibbosa, Xancus rapa , 



Bursa spinosa , Tonna dolium , T fasciata , Ficus variegata 
and F fecoides. Of these, Xancus rapa is sold in shops and 
the others are crushed to produce shell grit. Besides 
gastropods, several species of bivalves are also dragged out, 
the important ones being Pecten tranquebaricus , Placenta 
placenta , Pinctada vulgaris , Pinna atropurpurea , P bicolor 
and P vexillum. 

New records: Some interesting records are marked with 
an asterisk (*). Two specimens of Volva sowerbyana were 
collected from sand bars close to the jetty This is probably 
the first report of this species on the southeastern coast of 
India. Point Calimere is a new site for Tudicla spiralis (several 
individuals, both live and dead), Strombus plicatus sibbaldi 
(one specimen) and Conus milne-edwardsi (one specimen). 

Family: Calvptraeidae 
Calyptraea extinctorium Lamarck 

Description: Shell fragile, conical with pointed apex, 
shell surface smooth. Internal folded appendage conspicuous 
and attached to the internal wall of the shell. Colour: 
Whitish or dull brown marked with reddish lines. Status: 
Common. 

Crepidula walshi Herrmannsen 

Description: Shell Hat, elongate-ovate. Upper surface 
with concentric striae. Colour: White. Status: Common. 

Family: Trochidae 
Umbonium vestiarium (Linn.) 

Description: Small shell with smooth and highly glossy 
surface. Body whorl broad, angular. Spires depressed. 
Umbilicus filled with thick callus. Aperture ovate. Colour: 
Exhibits wide range of colour variation. Usually pale yellowish- 
brown with numerous white, red, brown trans-spiral lines. 
Status: Common. 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



T roc hus radiatus Gmelin 

Description: Smaller than T. stellalus. More conical in 
shape. Surface sculptured by spiral rows of tubercles. Upper 
row of tubercles on each whorl larger than others. Columella 
smooth, without denticles. Colour: Yellowish-white ground 
colour with broad trans-spiral reddish/crimson bands, which 
usually get broken into irregular spots on basal portion of 
body whorl. Status: Common. 

Trochus stellatus Gmelin 

Description: Shells large, heavy and top-shaped. 
Surface highly granulated. Lips serrated. Sides of the shells 
slightly arched, giving a somewhat rounded external 
appearance. Tubercles on the lowest spire of each whorl 
enlarged compared to T. radiatus. Columella denticulate. 
Colour: Dull green to brown with broad radial reddish bands. 
Status: Common. 

Family: Turbinidae 
Liotia cidaris (Reeve) 

Description: Veiy small in size with low spires. Entire 
surface strongly ribbed. Body whorl with strong nodules. 
Mouth ovate. Umbilicus partly filled with white callus. Colour: 
White with brown nodules. Status: Uncommon. 

Turbo intercostalis Menke 

Description: Shell thick and large with stout spiral ridges 
on the surface. Trans-spiral grooves prominent on ridges, 
umbilicus open. Colour: Greenish-brown with irregular yellow 
patches. Status: Uncommon. 

Astraea semicostata (Kiener) 

Description: Shell resembles Trochus. Base flat with 
fewer, but sharply elevated spires. Each whorl at the base 
bears a spiral row of spinous processes. Trans-spiral ribs on 
each whorl weakly developed. Finely and concentrically 
grooved base. Umbilicus filled by callus. Colour: Beached 
specimens usually white, fresh specimens dull brown to yellow 
brown. Status: Common. 

Phasianella nivosa Reeve 

Description: Shells smooth, glossy, shape similar to 
that of Littorina. Colour: Brownish-red with coloured spiral 
lines. A prominent single row of dark brown spots on each 
whorl. Status: Rare. 

Family: Neritidae 
Nerita alhicilla Linn. 

Description: Large shell compared to Nerita oiyzarum. 
Spires flat, depressed below extremity of outer lip. Coluntellar 



region tuberculated. Body whorl finely ribbed. Outer lip 
abnormally thickened. Colour: Variable, but commonly whitish, 
irregularly blotched with greenish-black. Status: Common. 
Edible. 

Family: Architectonidae 
Architectonica laevigata (Lamarck) 

Description: Shell moderately large and more elevated 
than other species in this family. Surface finely grooved. Basal 
surface bears a raised outer marginal band, which is traversed 
by a single median spiral groove. Colour: Light purple/pink 
with a row of brown dots along the spiral ridges. Status: 
Common. 

Torinia dorsuosa (Hinds) 

Description: Shell resembles Umbonium. Shell flat with 
convexly arched upper surface. Granular spiral nbs. Lowermost 
spiral rib on each whorl strongest. Umbilicus circular with 
toothed margin. Colour: Pale brown. Status: Common. 

Family: Cypraeidae 

Volva sowerhyana Weinkauff* 

Description: Shell ventricose with both ends prolonged 
into canals. Lip margins thickened. Teeth absent. Colour: Flesh 
pink. Beached specimens bleached white. Status: Common. 

Family: Strombidae 
Lambis lambis (Linn.) 

Description: Shell very large and heavy with thick callus 
zone. Outer lip bears 7 finger-like channelled processes. 
Anterior canal long and pointed. Shell covered by horny 
penostracum. Shoulder angular and strongly nodulated near 
suture. Colour: Chestnut to cream yellow with brown markmgs. 
Callus and inner part smooth and white or cream in colour. 
Status: Common. 

Strombus plicatus sibbaldi Sowerby* 

Description: Among the smaller species. Spires very 
tall and slender on large body whorl. Each spire with two 
strong vertical ribs, with many fine riblets. Both lips strongly 
serrated on inner margin. Colour: White with brown mottling. 
Aperture white with light brown transverse striae. Status: 
Rare. 

Family: Tonnidae 
Toima fasciata Bruguiere 

Description: Large shell. Body whorl ovately inflated 
with short conical spire. Sutures sunk in impressed grooves. 
Numerous broad and flattened spiral ribs present on entire 
surface. Columella slightly twisted. Umbilicus greatly reduced. 



202 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Colour: White with 4 broad, widely separated, brownish- 
yellow bands. Status: Common. 

Tonna doliitm Linn. 

Description: Moderately large Tun with thin and 
globular body whorl. Spires flat and conical. Surface bears 
strong spiral ribs. Fine riblets also present between main ribs. 
Columella obliquely striated. Colour: White ground colour 
with alternately arranged white spots on mam ribs. Status: 
Abundant. 

Family: Ficidae 

Ficus ficoides (Lamarck) 

Description: Moderately large Tun with thin and fragile 
body whorl. Spues flat and conical. Surface spnally sculptured 
by strong ribs. Colour: Light brown with dark brown 
markings. Status: Common. 

Ficus variegata Roding 

Description: Moderately large, fragile and delicate shell. 
Body whorl very large with slightly elevated spires. Shell 
surface finely serrated. Colour: Light brown with dark brown 
and reddish mottling. Status: Common. 

Family: Cassidae 
Phalium areola (Lamarck) 

Description: Moderately large shell. Spires sharply 
pointed. Well-developed varices present, one on each whorl. 
Body whorl with blunt, smooth, angular shoulder. Suture 
slightly impressed. Aperture moderately wide. Canal short 
and curved dorsally. Outer lip on inner margin strongly 
toothed. Colour: Creamy white with 4-5 spiral rows of large 
squarish dark brown or deep orange spots. Status: Common. 

Phalium glaucum (Linn.) 

Description: Shell large, with strongly inflated body 
whorl. Spires short and conical. Body whorl smooth and 
glossy. Whorls with strong, angular shoulders beset with a 
row of sharply pointed tubercles. Outer lip thickened and 
highly denticulate on inner margin. Colour: Creamy white 
with light brown mottling. Interior of aperture dark brown. 
Status: Common. 

Phalium canaliculatum (Bruguiere) 

Description: A small, fragile shell. Surface bears strong, 
regular spiral ridges. Suture sunk in deep, broad grooves. 
Columellar lip strongly plicate. Upper end of columellar lip 
with a few transverse ridges. Outer lip thickened and toothed 
within. Colour: White with yellowish-brown spots. Status: 
common. 



Family: Bursidae 
Bursa granularis Roding 

Description: Similar in appearance to Bursa 
tuberculata Outer surface spirally tuberculated. Surface also 
with two pair of varices on each side. Posterior canal well- 
defined. Outer lip with strong teeth. Columella strongly folded. 
Colour: Dark reddish-brown with red brown tubercles. Status. 
Common. 

Bursa spinosa (Lamarck) 

Description: Moderately large shell. Varices 
tuberculated. Body whorl bears fine, close set, spiral ribs which 
have a granular surface. Shell dorsoventrally compressed. 
Each whorl bears two varices, one on each side, forming a 
continuous ridge. These varices with strong, well-developed 
spines. Outer lip on inner margin strongly toothed, giving a 
frilled appearance. Colour: Pale brown, with some darker 
brown markings. Status: Common. 

Bursa margaritula (Deshayes) 

Description: Shell small, broader in proportion to height. 
Varices strongly developed and traversed by granular surface. 
Columella with strong folds. Posterior canal deflected to right. 
Colour: Dark yellow brown with red brown tubercles. Status: 
Common. 

Family: Cymatiidae 

Cymatium cingulatum (Lamarck) 

Description: Shell moderately large with conical, 
elevated spire. Anterior canal strongly twisted. Surface with 
strong spiral ribs. Outer lip on inner side toothed. Colour: 
Pale yellow brown. Status: Common. 

Cymatium rhinoceros (Lamarck) 

Description: Shell large, thick and heavy. Surface with 
thick and raised varices, of which two on body whorl are very 
prominent. Whorls angularly shouldered. Colour: Yellowish- 
brown with varices bearing orange patches. Status: Common. 

Family: Natieidae 
Natica maculosa Lamarck 

Description: Moderately larger than N. picta with 
slightly elevated spires. Colour: Pale brown with faint brown 
or yellow trans-spiral lines. Dots less compactly arranged. 
Status: Common. 

Natica traillii Reeve 

Description: Shell small and globular. Umbilicus deep. 
Colour: Whitish with reddish-brown, irregular trans-spiral 
lines. Status: Common. 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



203 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



ISatica lineata Lamarck 

Description: Shell moderately large, globular, with 
inflated body whorl. Apex sharply pointed. Surface smooth 
and glossy The most elegantly shaped shell among moon 
snails. Columella with callosity. Colour: Shell ashy white with 
close set, trans-spiral yellow or orange wavy lines. Upper few 
whorls pale blue or violet Status: Common. 

ISatica didytnci (Roding) 

Description: Moderately large shell. Surface with fine 
trans-spiral striae. Body whorl very large with small or almost 
flat spires. Columellar border thickly callused and divided by 
transverse groove. Colour: Pale brown with callus and interior 
of the aperture both dark brown. Status: Common. 

IS Utica rufa (Born) 

Description: Shell large, thick and solid. Columella 
covered with thick callus. Aperture semicircular. Colour: Dull 
brown with one or two broad, brown spiral bands. Status: 
Common. 

Polynices mantilla (Linn.) 

Description: A moderately large shell. Surface smooth 
and glossy. Spires reduced, with large ovoid and elongated 
body whorl. Aperture obliquely inclined. Umbilicus completely 
filled by white callus. Colour Pure white Status: Common. 

Eunaticina papilla (Gmelin) 

Description: Shell small with inflated body whorl. Spues 
moderately elevated. Surface with fine spiral grooves. 
Aperture large, ovate and narrow posteriorly. Colour: white 
with brownish periostracum. Status: Common. 

Si n urn neritoideum (Linn.) 

Description: Shell ovoid with inflated body whorl. 
Spires greatly reduced. Shell surface spirally and trans-spirally 
grooved. Aperture large, ovate. Umbilicus open. Colour: 
White to yellow brown. Status: Common. 

Sin tint cuvieriannm (Reduz) 

Description: Shell ovoid with inflated body whorl. 
Spires almost flat. Shell surface spirally and trans-spirally 
grooved. Aperture large, ovate. Shell about two and a half 
times as broad as tall. Colour: White to yellow brown. Status: 
Common. 

Sinum delessertii (Recluz) 

Description: Shell ovoid, flatter than the two previous 
species. Spires greatly reduced, less eccentric. Shell about 
three times as broad as tall. Shell surface spirally and trans- 



spirally grooved. Aperture large, ovate. Umbilicus open. 
Colour: White to yellow brown. Status: Common. 

Family: Pyramidellidae 
Pyramidella terebellum (Muller) 

Description: Shell small, fragile and tall, conical. Shell 
surface spirally grooved, grooves fine and visible only under 
magnification. Aperture ovate. Colour: Each whorl of spire 
with three brown spual lines. Two spiral lines very dark Status: 
Uncommon. 

Turbonilla crichtoni Winckworth 

Description: Shell small, with tall spires. Shell surface 
ribbed, ribs broader than interstices. Colour: Light brown to 
pink. Status: Uncommon. 

Odostomia babylonica Winckworth 

Description: Shell small, fragile with moderately tall 
spires. Shell surface smooth. Aperture obovate. Sutures 
deeply incised. Colour: White. Status: Uncommon. 

Family: Eulimidae 

Eulima bivittata (Hinds and A. Adams) 

Description: Shell very small, slender, with tall spires. 
Shell surface smooth. Aperture three times as high as broad. 
Colour: Shell light brown, with two dark brown bands on 
each whorl. Area between these bands pale brown Status: 
Uncommon. 

Family: Potamididae 

Cerithidea fluviatilis (Potiez and Michaud) 

Description: Shell moderately large with tall spires. 
Whorls strongly tuberculated. Each whorl with four spiral 
ridges, of which lowermost is reduced. Colour: Light to dark 
brown. Status: Abundant. 

Family: Cerithiidae 
Cerithium morns Lamarck 

Description: Small ovate shell. Anterior canal deeply 
excavated. Body whorl with about 6-7 spiral rows of tubercles. 
Other whorls with three rows each. Outer lip finely ribbed on 
inner margin. Aperture D-shaped. A small fold present near 
posterior end. Colour: Dark greenish-grey with black 
tubercles. Status: Common. 

Cerithium obeliscus Bruguiere 

Description: Moderately large shell, slightly turreted 
in shape compared to other species. Surface sculptured with 
spiral rows of tubercles. Uppermost whorl strongest. 
Interstices between these spiral rows traversed by fine lattice 



204 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



of spiral and trans-spiral ribs. Anterior canal deeply excavated 
and produced in a curved spout. Colour: Pale brown with 
white markmgs. Irregular brown blotches also present. Status: 
Common. 

Cerithium splendens Sowerby 

Description: Shells small with sharply produced anterior 
canal Whorls with nodular spiral ridges. Colour: Pale brown 
with alternately arranged white and brown tubercles. Status: 
Common. 

Family: Triphoridae 
Triphora concinna Hinds 

Description: Shells very small and can be collected from 
shell sand. Shell elongated with small body whorl. Shell surface 
with three rows of spirally arranged tubercles. Body whorl 
with five rows of tubercles. Colour: Pale brown with dark 
brown band at base of each whorl. Status: Common. 

Triphora violacea (Quoy and Gaimard) 

Description: Shells very small, can be collected from 
shell sand. Shell sinistral, shell sculpture almost same as that 
of T. concinna. Colour: Light violet with dark violet base. 
Status: Common. 

Family: Janthinidae 
Janthina roseola Reeve 

Description: Shell small, fragile, elongated. Basal 
surface flattened, with angular and small body whorl Shell 
surface finely striated, with three rows of spirally arranged 
tubercles. Body whorl with five rows of tubercles. Colour: 
Pale brown with dark brown band at base of each whorl. Status: 
Common. 

Family: Rissoidae 
Rissoina clathrata A. Adams 

Description: Shell small, with many whorls. All except 
body whorl with three spiral ridges. Shell surface looks 
granular due to crossing of spiral and trans-spiral ridges. Outer 
lip thick, extended anteriorly. Colour: Pale brown Status: 
Common. 

Family: Mitridae 
Mitra circula Kiener 

Description: Moderately large, thick shell, with tall 
spires. Surface spirally ridged. Two or three trans-spiral 
grooves and 13 to 15 strong spiral ridges on body whorl 
prominent. Upper whorls of spire with 3 spiral ridges each. 
Columella plated, 3-4 plates can be seen. Colour: Y ellowish- 
brown. Status: Uncommon. 



Family: Turritellidae 
Turritella acutangula Linn. 

Description: Shell tall and thick. Whorls marked with 
spiral ridges, of which two are prominent. Callus polished, 
white. Colour: Yellowish-brown. Status: Common. 

Turritella attenuate Reeve 

Description: Shell slender compared to T. acutangula 
and much taller. Spiral ridges prominent on each whorl, but 
more in number than in T. acutangula. Middle rib the 
strongest. Colour: Bluish-brown. Status: Common. 

Family: Epitoniidae 
Epitonium scalaris (Linn.) 

Description: Very small. Whorls are encircled by trans- 
spiral crests. Height of shell less than twice its breadth. 
Aperture D-shaped, its posterior edge touching one crest of 
the whorl above. Colour: White. Status: Uncommon. 

Eglisia tricarinata Adam and Reeve 

Description: Very small and resembles juveniles of 
Turritella duphcata. Each whorl on lower half with three 
distinct spiral ridges. Spires tall and sharply elevated. Colour: 
Whitish with pale brown patches. Status: Common. 

Family: Muricidae 
Murex hailius Reeve 

Description: Shell small, with spmdle shaped body. Shell 
surface with seven varices. Spires well-developed. Anterior 
canal curved and short. Colour: Ashy brown, penostracum 
light brown. Status: Common. 

Murex trap a Roding 

Description: Shell large, elongated. Anterior canal open, 
very long. Spires turreted. Outer lip with three strong spines. 
Whorls angularly shouldered. Surface spirally ridged with 
three strong varices. Each varix with strong spines. Colour: 
Fresh specimens dull brown to yellowish-brown. Status: 
Common. 

Murex haustellum Linn. 

Description: Moderately large, thick but light shell 
Varices prominent on each whorl Entire surface with strong 
nodules. Inner margin of outer lip with strong folds. Long 
siphonal canal. Blunt spines on surface. Colour: Light pink 
ground colour with dark brown nodules. Inner margin of mouth 
light pink. Status: Uncommon. 

Murex virgineus ( Roding) 

Description: Shell large, thick, solid. Surface spirally 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



205 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



ridged, with three varices ornamented by short processes. 
Anterior canal short, partially closed. Colour: Pale brown with 
pink aperture. Status: Common. 

Mure x adustus Lamarck 

Description: Shell moderately large, thick, rough. 
Varices with thick set of foliaceous processes. Surface with 
strong, widely spaced spiral ridges. Abundant oyster growth 
seen on many individuals. Colour: Black with bluish-white 
aperture. Status: Common. 

Chicorius ramosus Linn. 

Description: Large, thick, heavy shell. Varices 
prominent on each whorl. Spires moderately large, elevated. 
Long anterior canal. Outer lip margin with well-developed, 
frilled spines. Largest Indo-Pacific Murex. Colour: White with 
pinkish aperture. Status: Common. 

Rapana bulbosa (Dillwyn) 

Description: Large, thick, heavy, globose shell. Spires 
low, grooved. Surface finely striated with weakly developed 
or blunt spines. Siphonal canal very short. Colour: Chestnut. 
Status: Common. 

Drupa heptagonalis (Reeve) 

Description: Shell small and robust, with broad trans- 
spiral ribs. Spiral ridges uniform. Outer lip with sharp, strong, 
elongated teeth. Colour: Pale brown with dark brown 
spiral bands. Columella and aperture light violet. Status: 
Common. 

Drupa margariticola (Broderip) 

Description: Shell small, spindle shaped. Surface with 
fine spiral ridges. Trans-spiral ribs prominent and single 
shouldered Colour: Pale brown with dark brown spiral ridges. 
Aperture light purple. Status: Common. 

Drupa tuberculata (Blainville) 

Description: Shell small, broadly ovate. Prominent, 
uniformly and spirally arranged stout tubercles. Outer lip with 
strong nodules. Colour: Brown with dark brown tubercles. 
Teeth white. Status: Common. 

Thais rudolphi (Lamarck) 

Description: Smaller species than T. bufo. Thick, heavy, 
solid shell. Body whorl with a few strong, spirally arranged 
ribs. Numerous riblets also present between main ribs. 
Columella broad and enamelled. Outer lip finely serrated. 
Colour: Dark brown with alternate black and white spots 
arranged on spiral ribs. Columella brown. Status: Common. 



Thais bufo (Lamarck) 

Description: Large, thick, heavy and solid shell. Body 
whorl with blunt spines. Aperture large, canaliculated on both 
sides. Columella broad, smooth, extending beyond upper 
extremity of outer lip. Colour: Light brown. Outer lip margin 
alternately marked by white and brown spots. Status: Common. 

Thais rugosa (Born) 

Description: Large, thick, heavy and solid shell. Species 
resembles Thais caranifera in appearance. Body whorl with 
blunt spines; first process on body whorl well-developed 
compared to Thais caranifera. Colour: Light brown. Outer 
lip margin alternately marked by white and brown spots. 
Status: Common. 

Thais tissoti (Petit) 

Description: Small, thick, stout shell. Many tubercles 
present on entire surface due to crossing of spiral and trans- 
spiral ribs. Colour: White with brown nodules. Status: 
Common. 

Thais intermedia (Kiener) 

Description: Shells moderately large, solid. Surface 
rough with large, widely spaced processes in four rows, of 
which upper one is largest. Processes appear like pointed 
tubercles. Aperture wide, ovate. Outer lip with strong teeth. 
Colour: Whitish with dark brown tubercles. Aperture light 
blue, tinged with brown markings. Status: Common. 

Jopas serf urn (Bruguiere) 

Description: Moderately large. Surface traversed by 
very fine spiral grooves. Shell spindle-shaped with short 
spires. Columella and outer lip with a single tooth at posterior 
end. Colour: Pale yellow brown with irregular dark brown and 
white markings. Aperture light yellow. Status: Uncommon. 

Maculotriton serrialis (Laborde) 

Description: Shell very small, spindle-shaped. Spires 
tall with 5-7 whorls. Surface with strong spiral and trans-spiral 
ridges. Crossing of these ridges gives strong nodular 
appearance to the surface. Outer lip prominent and having a 
strong tooth. Colour: Pale yellow to white with dark brown or 
orange bands. Status: Uncommon. 

Family: Conidae 
Conus amadis Gmelin 

Description: Moderately large, thin and fragile shell. 
Surface smooth, glossy but sometimes spirally grooved. 
Spires sharply elevated at the last few whorls. Apex pointed. 
Body whorl sharply angular above. Colour: Dark brown/ 



206 



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MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



orange with irregularly scattered whitish triangular spots. Two 
prominent spiral bands of densely packed brown to orange 
lines on body whorl. Status: Common. 

Conus piperatus Dillwyn 

Description: Small shell. Spires moderately tall, basal 
portion threaded. Body whorl distinctly angular above. 
Aperture narrow. Whorls of spire slightly raised into ridge- 
like thickening above suture. Trans-spiral plates as indicators 
of growth lines are prominent. Colour: Yellowish-brown with 
a prominent spiral white band across middle body whorl. 
Raised spiral striae marked with rows of brown spots. Status: 
Common. 

Conus ebraeus Linn. 

Description: Small, thick, stout shell. Spires moderately 
tall. Surface with raised sphal striae. Upper part of body whorl 
obtuse angled. Colour: White ground colour with four rows 
of black squarish spots on body whorl. A spiral row of 
prominent black squarish spots on rest of whorls. Status: 
Common. 

Conus nussatella Linn. 

Description: Large, thin, fragile, cylindrical, and tall 
conical shell. Spires short but acuminate. Body whorl with a 
rounded receding shoulder. Surface with fine spiral granular 
ridges. Operculum small, homy with apical nucleus. Colour: 
Creamy brown or yellow with white brown blotches. Fine 
reddish-brown dots and vertical dashes arranged in vertical 
and horizontal rows. Status: Common. 

Conus araneosus Hwass 

Description: Large, thick and heavy cone. Spires 
moderately elevated. Body whorl straight sided and broadly 
conical. Whorls concavely depressed. Body whorl sharply 
angular at upper end. Basal portion strongly threaded. Spires 
coronated, beset with raised tubercles. Trans-spiral plates 
prominent. Colour: White ground colour with brown mottling 
on entire surface. Fine brown irregularly scattered lines 
forming longitudinal bands. Body whorl with two prominent 
spiral bands of interrupted brown mottling. Aperture violet. 
Status: Common. 

Conus milne-edwardsi Jousseaume 

Description: Large, elegant and fragile shell. Shell is 
very tall with elevated spires. Fine spiral grooves can be seen 
on spires on close examination. A prominent deep cleft at the 
posterior end of the aperture. Aperture narrow and slightly 
broadened at the lower end. Lip thin with sharp, cutting edge. 
Body whorl bear very fine trans-spiral striations. Colour: One 



of the most brilliantly coloured cones. Base colour creamish 
brown with white triangular spots. The tip of these spots is 
directed away from aperture. Spire bears dark brown wavy 
markings. Two prominent spiral bands on body whorl are 
diagnostic. Status: Endangered. 

Family: Terebrklae 
Duplicaria duplicata (Linn.) 

Description: Shell small, tall and slender. Surface with 
numerous trans-spiral ribs separated by spiral grooves and 
fine spiral ridges. Trans-spiral ribs prominent, single- 
shouldered. Colour: Pale brown with dark brown markings. 
Pale yellow spiral band clearly visible above each suture. 
Status: Common. 

Family: Turridae 
Surcula javana (Linn.) 

Description: Moderately large shell with tall, conical 
spires. Shoulders angular. A nodulated spiral ridge prominent 
at centre of each whorl. Entire surface sculptured with spiral 
and trans-spiral ribs that are prominent on body whorl. 
Crossing of these ribs gives a nodular appearance to the 
surface. Colour: Deep brown. Status: Common. 

Surcula amicta Smith 

Description: Small shell with raised spires and pointed 
apex. Surface smooth, glossy. Turnd notch weakly developed. 
Canal short, wide. Colour: Creamy white with brown wavy 
markings. Status: Common. 

Family: Buccinidae 
Babylonia spirata (Linn.) 

Description: Moderately large, thick and heavy shell. 
Body whorl large, with a few deeply grooved spires. Whorls 
inflated. Surface sunk in broad grooves. Columella smooth, 
well-developed. Umbilicus filled with callus. Aperture large, 
constricted posteriorly by a thick ridge extending inwards on 
columellar side. Anterior canal represented by a notch. Colour: 
White ground with regular spiral row of large squarish orange 
spots. Fresh specimens always covered with brown 
periostracum. Status: Common. Edible. 

Cantharus undosus (Linn.) 

Description: Small, spindle-shaped shell. Surface 
traversed by well-developed, strong, close set spiral ribs. 
Outer lip margin thickened and strongly denticulate. Fasciole 
absent. Thick brown periostracum covering the shell. Anterior 
canal open, inclined. Columellar border concavely excavated. 
Colour: White with reddish-brown spiral ribs. Status: 
Common. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



207 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Family: Fasciolariidae 
Fasciolaria trapezium (Linn.) 

Description: Shell very large and heavy. Whorls 
strongly shouldered. Shoulders with strong tubercles. 
Columella with a few folds. Aperture spirally striated. Colour: 
Pale yellow brown, marked with dark brown paired lines. 
Status: Uncommon. 

Fusinus longicauda (Bory) 

Description: Large, spindle-shaped shell with tall 
spires. Shell resembles F. coins , a species from Sri Lanka. 
Siphonal canal very long and open. Spiral ridges well- 
developed on entire surface, of which the middle one on 
each whorl is stronger and raised. These ribs become 
increasingly oblique towards canal. Last few whorls with 
well-developed trans-spiral ribs. Sutures sunk. Shoulders with 
weakly developed nodules. Colour: Pure white. Status: 
Common. 

Fusinus toreuma (Lamarck) 

Description: Shell large, thick, solid and spindle-shaped. 
Surface with thick spiral ridges. Angular shoulders on each 
whorl bearing large tubercles. Anterior canal stout and long. 
Colour: Whitish with dark brown markings. Aperture white. 
Status: Common. 

Family: Volutidae 
Harpulina lapponica Linn. 

Description: Large, thick ovoid shell. Spires short, 
conical. Body whorl elongated, inflated. Columella having 6- 
7 strong folds. Spires weakly grooved. Surface smooth. Last 
few whorls with prominent trans-spiral ribs. Colour: Cream 
white or pale yellowish ground colour with dark brown, 
indistinct mottling on surface. Status: Uncommon. 

Cymbium melo (Solander) 

Description: Shell very large, thin, fragile with enlarged, 
inflated body whorl. Spires completely reduced in adults. 
Surface with trans-spiral grooves. Aperture very wide. Colour: 
Bright yellowish-orange with dark brown patches on body 
whorl. Status: Uncommon. 

Family: Olividae 
Oliva gibbosa (Born) 

Description: Stout, thick, glossy shell. Body whorl 
elongate-ovoid, inflated, with two strong spiral cords at the 
base. Callus well-developed with close-set ridges. Spire short 
with pointed apex and depressed lower part. Colour: Light 
yellowish-brown with deep olive green mottling. Status: 
Common. 



Oliva nebulosa Lamarck 

Description: Small shell with glossy surface. More 
slender and elongated than O. gibbosa , with less inflated body 
whorl. Columellar margin with folds which are more numerous 
than in O gibbosa. Colour: Pale bluish-grey or whitish, mottled 
with greenish-blue markings. Pale brown oblique spiral bands 
with thick, darker brown markings at the base of body whorl. 
Status: Common. 

Ancilla ampla (Gmeiin) 

Description: Small, smooth with glossy surface. Spire 
small, with large body whorl. Aperture large but narrow. 
Colour: Whitish, tinted with bright orange brown. Status: 
Uncommon. 

Ancilla einnamomea (Lamarck) 

Description: Shell stouter and shorter than A. ampla. 
Body whorl strongly inflated with two oblique spiral grooves 
at base. Colour: Polished dark brown or coffee brown. Status: 
Uncommon. 

Ancilla acuminata (Sowerby) 

Description: Similar to A. einnamomea but has raised 
spire and more pointed apex. Base of body whorl narrower 
than A. einnamomea. Colour: Pale brown with darker shade 
below two oblique spu al grooves on body whorl. Status: Rare. 

Ancilla scaphella (Sowerby) 

Description: A smaller species than Ancilla acuminata. 
Spire small with blunt apex. Body whorl relatively enlarged, 
equally wide at both ends. Aperture very wide. Colour: 
Whitish with brown suture. Status: Uncommon. 

Family: Nassariidae 
Bullia melanoides (Deshayes) 

Description: Shell small, with glossy surface and tall 
spires. Shell surface with trans-spiral ridges and fine spiral 
grooves. 4-5 spiral grooves present at base of body whorl. 
Colour: Dark grey with purple tinge. Status: Common. 

Nassarius jacksoniana (Quoy and Gaimard) 

Description: Shell small with strong raised trans-spiral 
ridges. Outer lip thickened at edge, with tooth inside. Base of 
body whorl with 2-4 impressed lines. Colour: Olive green 
with white trans-spiral ribs. Status: Abundant. 

Nassarius hcpatica (Montagu) 

Description: Larger than N. jacksoniana. Spires well- 
elevated. Strong trans-spiral ribs present on entire surface. A 
single spiral groove cuts trans-spiral ridges below suture, 



208 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



forming nodular sculpture. Colour: Olive green to light brown. 
Aperture marked with two white bands on black background. 
Status: Uncommon. 

Nassarius cost at a Adams 

Description Similar to N. hepaticci. Spires compa- 
ratively well-elevated. Trans-spiral ribs finer, close-set. 
Colour: Pale grey with dark brown spiral bands. Aperture 
marked with brown bands on white background. Status: 
Common. 

Nassarius thersites (Bruguiere) 

Description: Shell small with short spires. Body 
whorl large, inflated. Callus flat on columella, extends and 
conceals entire body whorl. Part adjoining columellar border 
traversed by trans-spiral ribs. Margin of outer lip reflected, 
thickened and toothed within. Colour: Ashy green with a 
dark central spot on body whorl. Callus white. Status: 
Common. 

Nassarius suturalis (Lamarck) 

Description: Comparatively larger than N. thersites. 
Surface sculptured by fine, orange spiral lines. Columella 
with a strong tooth. Outer lip on inner side with strong 
tooth. Colour: Whitish with orange spiral lines. Status: 
Uncommon. 

Nassarius pallidula Adams 

Description: A smaller species with elevated, pointed 
spire. Surface traversed by fine spiral grooves. Callus 
present on columella, which also bears a single strong tooth. 
Outer lip thickened. Colour: Yellowish-brown. Status: 
Uncommon. 

Family: Vasidae (= Turbinellidae) 

Xaucus rapa (Lamarck) 

Description: Shell large, solid, heavy, pear-shaped. 
Always covered with brown periostracum. Spire well-elevated. 
Shoulder ridge with strong, blunt tubercles. Columella with 
four strong folds. Colour: Ivory white. Young specimens with 
dark brown spots. Status: Abundant. 

Tudicla spirillus (Linn.)* 

Description: Moderately large in size. Apex thick, 
rounded with depressed spires. Spires with blunt tubercles. 
Body whorl broad, inflated, angled with a long, curved siphonal 
canal. Callus well-developed. Protoconch clearly visible. 
Colour: Light yellowish-brown with white and brown spots. 
Tubercles are dark brown. Status: Rare. This species is 
endemic to southeast India. 



Family: Volemidae 
Hemifusus pugilinus ( Born) 

Description: Massive shell with well-elevated spires. 
Basal portion with coarse, close set spiral ridges. Whorls 
having angular shoulder with strong tubercles. Operculum 
thick, ovate, horny, anterior canal with broad opening. 
Colour: Pale brown covered with thick periostracum. Status: 
Common. 

Hemifusus cochlidium ( Linn.) 

Description: Whorls strongly and angularly shouldered. 
Shoulder with strong tubercles, which are fewer and more widely 
separated than in H. pugilinus. Spiral ridges prominent, except 
on body whorl. Sutures sunk in deep, narrow grooves. Aperture 
elongated and rectangular. Anterior canal wider than in 
H pugilinus near base. Colour: Dark reddish-brown. Columella 
pale yellow brown. Periostracum brown. Status: Common. 

Family: Harpklae 
Ilarpa conoidalis Lamarck 

Description: Large, thick but fragile shell. Surface 
with strong, widely spaced trans-spiral ribs. Interspaces 
between ribs traversed by fine trans-spiral striae. Columella 
smooth and polished. Colour: Pale fleshy brown, marked 
with transverse brown lines. Columella with chestnut 
coloured blotches. Interior of aperture smoky brown. Status: 
Common. 

Family: Pilklae 
Pila dolioides (Reeve) 

Description: Moderately large, fragile shell with large 
body whorl. Spires more or less flat. Body whorl globular. 
Colour: Light purple. Status: Common. 

Family: Marginellidae 
Marginella angustata Sowerby 

Description: Shell small, smooth, ovoid. Spires 
completely enveloped within body whorl. Outer lip thickened 
and smooth within. Columella with 4 strong folds. Colour: 
Bluish white ground colour with greenish-brown spiral bands. 
Fine white prominent trans-spiral lines. Status: Common. 

Family: Bullidae 
Bulla ampulla Linn. 

Description: Moderately large, thick, globose, fragile 
shell. Expanded body whorl. Lip extended posteriorly beyond 
apex, slightly constricted centrally and expanded anteriorly. 
Columella reverse S-shaped, smooth with thin callus. Colour: 
Cream with dark purple brown blotches, clouded with dark 
brown. Status: Common. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



209 



MOLLUSCAN FAUNA OF POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 



Family: Hydatinidae 
Hydatina velum (Gmelin) 

Description: Moderately large, thin, fragile and elegant 
shell. Spires flat. Suture deeply sunk in groove. Aperture wide. 



Surface with fine growth lines. Lip thin. Columella with thin 
callus. Colour: Waxy white. Four broad spiral bands of brown. 
Central band edged on each side with unbroken, dark brown 
lines. Status: Uncommon. 



REFERENCES 



Apte, D A (1993): Marine Gastropoda of Bombay - a recent survey. 
J. Bombay Nat. Hist Soc. 90(2): 537-539. 

Crichton, M.D. ( 1941): Marine shells of Madras. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. 
Soc. 42(2): 323-341. 

Gravely, F.H (1941): Shell and other animal remains found on the 
Madras beach. I - Mollusca. Bull Madras Govt Mus. (Nat. 
Hist.) V(l): 23-70. 

Gravely. F.H (1942): Shell and other animal remains found on the 
Madras beach. II - Snails, etc. (Mollusca-Gastropoda). Bull. 
Madras Govt. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) V(2): 1-1 10. 

Kundu, H.L. (1 965a): On the marine fauna of Gulf of Kutch Part II - 
Pelecypoda. J Bombay Nat Hist. Soc. 62(1): 83-103. 

Kundu, H .L. (1965a): On the marine fauna of Gulf of Kutch Part III - 
Pelecypoda. J Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 62(2): 210-235. 

Mookherjee, H P (1985): Contribution to the molluscan fauna of 
India. Part III, Marine molluscs of the Coromandel coast, Palk 
Bay and Gulf of Mannar - Gastropoda-Mesogastropoda (Part 
2). Rec. zool. Surv. India , Occ. Pap. 75: 93, 15 plates. 

Rajgopal, A S. & H P. Mukherjee (1978): Contribution to the 
molluscan fauna of India. Part I, marine molluscs of the 
Coromandel coast, Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar - Gastropoda- 
Archeogastropoda. Rec. zool. Surv. India , Occ. Pap 12: 1-48, 
1 plate. 

Rajgopal, A.S. & H.P. Mukherjee (1982): Contribution to the 
molluscan fauna of India. Part II. Marine molluscs of the 
Coromandel coast, Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar - Gastropoda- 
Mesogastropoda. Rec. zool. Surv India , Occ. Pap. 28: 1-53. 



Satyamurthi, T. (1952): The Mollusca of Krusadai Island. 1- 
Amphineura and Gastropoda Bull Madras Govt. Mus. New. Ser 
(Nat. Hist. Sec.) 1(2): 267. 

Satyamurthi. T. (1956): The Mollusca of Krusadai Island. Bull. Madras 
Govt. Mus. New. Ser (Nat Hist. Sec.) 1(2): 267. 

Subba Rao, N.V. ( 1971 ): On the collection of Strombidae (Mollusca: 
Gastropoda) from Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Western 
Indian Ocean with some new records. 1. Genus - Strombus. J. 
mar Biol. Assoc. India (1970), 12(J&2): 109-124. 

Subba Rao, N.V. (1977): On the collection of Strombidae (Mollusca: 
Gastropoda) from Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Western 
Indian Ocean 2. Genus - Lambis. Terebellum, Tibia and Ramella. 
J. mar Biol Ass. India 19(1): 21-34. 

Subba Rao, N.V. (1980): On the Conidae of Andaman & Nicobar 
Islands. Rec. zool. Surv India 77: 39-50. 

Subba Rao, N.V. & A. Dey ( 1 984): Contribution to the knowledge of 
Indian marine molluscs- 1. Family Mitridae. Rec. zool Surv. 
India , Occ. Pap 61: 1-43, 3 plates. 

Subba Rao, N.V. & A. Dey ( 1 986): Contribution to the knowledge of 
Indian marine molluscs- 2. Family Donacidae. Rec. zool. Surv. 
India , Occ. Pap 91: 1-30. 24 plates. 

Subba Rao, N.V. & K.V. Surya Rao (1993): Contribution to the 
knowledge of Indian marine molluscs. 3. Family Muricidae. Rec. 
zool. Surv India , Occ. Pap 153: 1-233. 

Subrahmanyam, T.V., K.R. Karandikar & N.N. Murthi (1952): Marine 
Gastropoda of Bombay. Jour. Univ. Bombay , 21 B(3), New 
Series 26-72, 187 text figs. 



210 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



211-220 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 

(ARACHNIDA: SCHIZOMIDA) ON THE BASIS OF TYPES DEPOSITED 

BY EH. GRAVELY (191 1-1925) IN THE NATIONAL COLLECTION, ZSI, KOLKATA' 

D.B. Bastawade 2 

'Accepted August 2001 

"Zoological Survey of India, Western Regional Station, Vidyanagar, Sector 29, Opp Akurdi Railway Station, Rawet Road, 
Akurdi, Pune 411 044, Maharashtra, India. 

The redescription of six species, namely Schizomus sijuensis, S. lunatus, S. perplexus, S. greeni , S. vittatus and 
5. cavernicola of schizomid arachnids described by F.H. Gravely (191 1-1925), have been provided, with illustrations 
to facilitate their identification. S. sijuensis, S. perplexus and S. cavernicola have been redesignated as new combinations. 
The specimens studied were deposited in the National Collection of the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata by 
F.H. Gravely, and are the lectotypes. These species are redesignated on the basis of revisionary studies by Harvey, 
Reddell and Cokendolpher. 

Key words: Redescription, Schizomus , sijuensis, lunatus, perplexus, greeni, vittatus, cavernicola, tikaderi , chaibassicus, 
chalakudicus, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar 



INTRODUCTION 

Schizomids are minute arachnids rarely encountered in 
the field. They are nocturnal, most secretive and prefer 
selective habitats. Southeast Asian schizomid fauna was 
initially explored by Pickard-Cambridge ( 1 872), Thorell ( 1 883- 
1 889) and Pocock ( 1 900), who mainly concentrated on small 
countries like Burma (now Myanmar), Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), 
Malaysia and Sumatra. 

Pickard-Cambridge raised the Family Tarteridae to a 
Suborder Tarterides and described Nyctalops crassicaudatus 
P. Cambridge [= Schizomus crassicaudatus (P. Cambridge)]; 
locality Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya, Kandy District, 
Sri Lanka. Subsequently, Thorell described Trithyreus grassi 
(Teinzo, Burma) (Reddell and Cokendolpher 1985) and 
Trithyreus cambridgei (Prone, Burma). Under the same 
Suborder, Pocock (1900) in his monumental work fauna of 
British india: arachnida described a new species Trithyreus 
suboculatus (Ceylon). He also included three species 
described by Pickard-Cambridge (1872) and Thorell (1883- 
1889). Gravely (191 1-25) contributed first on Burmese and 
Ceylonese Schizomids by describing Schizomus cavernicola 
(Khayon Caves, Burma), S. (7>. ) paradeniyensis, 
S. (Tr.) vittatus, and 5. (Tr.) greeni (Pundalu-oya, Marurata 
and Ambalagoda, Ceylon respectively, and three species from 
India as Schizomus {Tr.) sijuensis (Siju caves, Garo Hills, 
Meghalaya), S. {Tr.) kharagpurensis, and S. {Tr.) lunatus 
(Kharagpur and Botanical Garden, Calcutta, West Bengal). 
Further, in 1915, he described S. {Tr.) perplexus and 
S. {Tr.) buxtoni (Polonuruwa, Ceylon), he also reported 
S. {Tr.) modestus Hanson (Tiga and Temeh caves, Malaya). 
Fernando (1957) described Schizomus formicoides (Colombo, 
Ceylon). 



Bastawade (1985) and Bastawade and Pal (1992) have 
reported the order Schizomida for the first time horn Indian 
states Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh respectively. 
Sissom (1980), Cokendolpher and Reddell (1986), 
Cokendolpher (1988), and Cokendolpher and Sites (1988) have 
studied eastern Asian schizomids and have described some 
new species. Cokendolpher et al. (1988) have described 
Schizomus tikaderi, the first species from a peninsular Indian 
state Maharashtra. Further, Schizomus crassicaudatus 
(Pickard-Cambridge) has been redescribed and diagnosed by 
Reddell and Cokendolpher ( 1 99 1 ) on the basis of lectotypes 
and paralectotypes from University of Oxford, U.K. and 
Zoologisk Museum, Copenhagen. Reddell and Cokendolpher 
(1995) have compiled literary and revisionary studies of about 
180 schizomid species from all over the world. The genus 
“ Schizomus ” has been split into many new genera mainly on 
the basis of studies of spermathecae and other subletting 
characters, the known species Schizomus tikaderi 
Cokendolpher et al. ( 1 988) has been transferred to Neozomus 
tikaderi comb. nov. Reddell and Cokendolpher ( 1 995), in their 
monograph, have provided complete synonymies, published 
and unpublished records, habitat information, and 
bibliography for every taxon of the Order Schizomida. 
Bastawade (200 1 ) redescribed Schizomus buxtoni (Gravely), 
unaware of the revision by Reddell and Cokendolpher ( 1995). 
T he taxonomic status of S. buxtoni (Gravely) changed to 
Apozomus buxtoni (Gravely) comb. nov. 

Gravely deposited most of his type specimens in 
the collection of the erstwhile Indian Museum, Calcutta 
(= Kolkata), now the National Collection in the custody of the 
Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. The type material 
representing Indian, Ceylonese and Burmese species of 
Schizomida were studied and are being reported here. Two 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 



new species Schizomus chaibassicus (Chaibass Pass, Chhota 
Nagpur, Madhya Pradesh, India) and S. chalakudicus 
(Chalakudi, Trichur (= Cochin), Kerala, India) have been 
identified and described by Bastawade (2002). Accordingly, 
this communication deals with the description of 6 species 
under the respective proposed genera by Reddell and 
Cokendolpher (1995) “ Schizomus ” greeni Gravely and 
"5”. vittatus Gravely could not be studied due to lack of 
information. 

1 . Trithyreus sijuensis (Gravely) comb. nov. (Figs 1 - 1 3 ) 

1 925. “ Schizomus ” ( Trithyreus) sijuensis Gravely, Rec. 
Indian Mils. 26: 61-62. 



1995. Schizomus sijuensis Reddell and Cokendolpher, 
Texas Mem. Mus. Speleol. Monogr. No. 4: 4,1 1,20 and 54. 

2002. Schizomus sijuensis: Bastawade, / Bombay Nat. 
Hist. Soc. 99(1): 90-95. 

General: Female with yellowish-brown body, distal 
portions of pedipalps and chelicerae more brownish, distal 
portions of legs paler. Body surface smooth. Pedipalp stout, 
strong and expanded on trochanter. Flagellum single 
segmented. 

Measurements (in mm): Total length 7.80; 
Cephalothorax 3.03, abdomen4.77 (Tables 1,2). 

Cephalothorax: Propeltidium almost twice as long as 
wide, anterior margin narrowing into pointed anterior process, 




Figs 1-13: Trithyreus sijuensis ( Gravely) comb, nov., 1 . Carapace (Propeltidium), dorsal view, 2. Chelicera, outer view, 
3. Chelicera, inner view, 4. Immovable (fixed) finger of chelicera, lateral view, 5. Pedipalp(9), lateral (mesal) view, 

6. Pedipalp (tf), lateral (mesal) view, 7 Tarso-basitarsus ( 9 ), lateral view, 8. Tarso-basitarsus (d 1 ), lateral view, 

9. Femur IV (d* ). lateral view, 10. Coxa II, lateral view, 1 1 . Flagellum ( 9 ) with abdominal segments XI-XII, lateral view, 
12. Spermathecae, ventral view, 1 3. Spermathecae, ventral view, enlarged 



212 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 



smooth, bearing one median seta and one pair of setae at the 
base of the process. Three pairs of dorsal setae present; Eye 
spots absent (Fig. 1 ). Mesopeltidium almost touching each 
other medially, Metapeltidium undivided but with a median 
suture. Anterior sternum with 9 setae and 2 sternapophysial 
setae, posterior sternum not sclerotized and setation not clear. 

Abdomen: All tergites and stermtes smooth, setal 
composition not clear as all setae have dropped off from 
specimen. Tergites III- VIII each with a pair of round 
impressions for dorso-ventral muscles. Flagellum 1 mnr long 
and 7-8 times longer than wide, of single annulus, setose and 
2d, 2dl , 4v and 2vl setae (Fig. 10). Genital sternum wider than 
long, spermathecae double, elongated tubular lobes and 
tubular walls not very thick on each side (Figs 11-12). 

Appendages: Chelicera : Basal segment with posterior 
dorsal depression, fixed finger with only three teeth between 
proximal and distal large teeth Fig. 4), movable finger with 
smooth, obsolete semila with only a minute distal tooth (Figs 
2, 3). Types of setae present 1-4, 2-7, 3- (unclear, except one), 
4-2, 5-8 and 6-1 . Pedipalp: Short, strong and stout, expanded 
on trochanter and pointed distally, laterally compressed, only 
three pilose weak and long setae on ventrolatero-distal margin, 
many pilose setae of various sizes present on ventrolateral 
margin; femur shorter and stouter, bearing series of small, 
short, stout setae on interior side, whereas outer portion bears 
only three to four longer, spinulose setae, otherwise smooth; 
patella longer than femur, smooth, with a few scattered 
spinulose setae on outer surface, inner surface with double 
row of strong setae, a row of 4 spinulose setae on dorsal and 
three spinulose setae on ventral side; tibia almost as long as 
patella, smooth, with pilose setae, inner margin with upper 
and lower rows of spinulose setae of various lengths except 
2-3 stouter spines; tarso-basitarsus with mesal spine smaller 
and closer than lateral spine, ventral and mesoventral surface 
with many long, pilose setae; claw almost equal to tarso- 
basitarsus length (Figs 5, 7). Legs : all legs damaged, coxae II 
bearing a long, stout, anteriorly pointed spme (Fig. 13); Femur 
IV almost 3.84 times longer than wide, setation not clear (Fig. 9). 

Leetotype: <5 Total length 7.80 mm, Cephalothorax 3.30, 
abdomen 4.50; flagellum damaged, anterior process of 
propeltidium with a median seta and a pair of basal setae; 
anterior sternum with 4 visible setae, with 2 sternapophysial 
setae, posterior sternum with 4 setae, stermte VI with 13-14 
setae on anterior portion, 2 setae on posterior portion, stermtes 
VII-IX each with a row of posterior marginal setae; flagellum 
broken and missing; chelicera with 6-7 more setae at the base 
of movable finger; tarso-basitarsus proportion as 
20:7:9:8:5:9:31. Femur IV 3.43 times longer than wide. Leg 
formula 1423. 

Type data: Holotype: 1 9 , 1 d (lost), 2 $ $ immature, 1 9 



Table 1: Measurements (in mm) for ? Trithyreus sijuensis Gravely 





Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


0.96 


0.69 


0.30 


0.39 


0.42 


Femur 


1.02 


2.67 


1.44 


1.41 


2.19 


Patella 


1.17 


3.54 


0.99 


1.02 


1.05 


Tibia 


0.84 


2.73 


1.26 


- 


1.44 


Basitarsus 


0.81 


1.41 


0.54 


- 


- 


Tarsus 






0.87 


- 


1.05 


Total 


4.80 


11.04 


5.40 


- 


- 



Table 2: Measurements (in mm) for a Trithyreus sijuensis Gravely 





Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


1.38 


1.63 


0.60 


0.78 


0.95 


Femur 


1.50 


2.63 


2.40 


1.80 


2.95 


Patella 


1.68 


4.50 


1.15 


0.88 


1.53 


Tibia 


1.50 


2.68 


1.65 


1.20 


2.50 


Basitarsus 


0.63 


2.23 


1.05 


1.00 


1.05 


Tarsus 






1.15 


1.33 


1.55 


Total 


6.69 


13.67 


8.00 


6.99 


10.53 



(broken), from Garo Hills, Meghalaya (previously Assam), 
3,500-3,610 ft elevation at the entrance of Siju caves. Coll. F.H. 
Gravely, dt. not recorded. Leetotype: 1 d , (flagellum broken and 
lost) from Garo Hills, Meghalaya (previously Assam), 2,500 ft 
elevation. Coll. F.H. Gravely, Feb. 1922, deposited m National 
Zoological Collection, ZSI, Kolkata, Regn. No. 5349/H2. 

Remarks: After studying the descriptions, character 
tables and illustrations given by Reddell and Cokendolpher 
( 1 995 ), the author proposes to transfer the species Schizomus 
sijuensis Gravely to Trithyreus sijuensis (Gravely) comb. nov. 

2. “Schizomus lunatus" Gravely (Figs 14-24) 

1911a. Schizomus (Trithyreus) luncitus Gravely, Rec 
Indian Mus. (r. 33-38. 

1985. Schizomus lunatus Bastawade, J Bombay Nat 
Hist. Soc. 82(3): 690. 

1987. Schizomus lunatus Cokendolpher, Insecta mundi 
2(2): 90-96. 

1995. “ Schizomus ” lunatus Reddell and Cokendolpher, 
Texas Mem. Mus. Speleol. Monogr. No. 4: 4, 1 1, 20 and 54. 

General: d Body yellowish-orange, chelicerae and 
pedipalp browner, distal portions of legs lighter in colour. 

Measurements (in mm): d Leetotype: Total length 5.51; 
Cephalothorax length 2.17; Abdomen length 3.34 (Tables 3 
&4). 

Cephalothorax: Propeltidium anterior margin medially 
produced into a process, not very sharply bent down, provided 
with anterior median seta followed by a pair of setae, dorsal 
setation not clear except one pair at 0.86 and second pair at 
1 .57 mm from anterior margin. Eyespots absent. Mesopeltidium 
small and the central gap between plates about 0.5 times, 
metapeltidium medially separated by a narrow median suture 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



213 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 




Figs 14-24: Schizomus lunatus Gravely, 14. Pro, mesoand metapeltidium, dorsal view, 15. Chelicera, outer view, 
16. Chelicera, inner view, 17. Pedipalp, lateral (mesal)view, 18. Femur IV, lateral view, 19. Coxa II, lateral view, 
20. Distal end of abdominal segment XII, lateral view, 21 . Flagellum ( ? ), lateral view, 22. Flagellum ( <? ), lateral view, 
23. Sternite I, ventral view, 24. Spermathecae, dorsal view (Cokendolpher, pers. comm.) 



up to 2/3rd anterior portion, only one pair of posterior setae 
present (Fig. 14). Anterior sternum with 8 visible setae and a 
pair of long sternapophysial setae, posterior sternum 
unsclerotised and without setae. 

Abdomen: Tergites I- VII with a pair of dorsal setae each, 
tergite VIII with one pair of dorsal and one pair of dorso- 
lateral setae, tergite IX almost half the length of preceding 
segment, with one dorsal pair and one dorso-lateral pair of 
setae. Stemites V-VIII with an anterior irregular row of setae 
each, amongst only 3 plumose setae on V, 5 on VI and 1 on VII 
visible, middle row clear only on VII with 1 seta, and VIII with 
3 setae, posterior row on posterior margins with 5 stout setae 
on V, 2 on VI and 1 each on VII and VIII, setation not clear on 
sternite IX. Segments X-XII telescoped, with a distinct short, 
stumpy, posterior process on posterior dorsal margin of 
segment XII (Fig. 19). Flagellum-, short, single segmented 
and about 0.35 mm long, with a short stalk and almost spade- 
shaped with 5(7, 41 and 6v pairs of setae (Fig. 22). 

Appendages: Chelicera-. basal segment smooth with 
setae Type 1-3, 2-3, 3-6, 4-2, 5-3 and 6-1, fixed finger with 
3 teeth between two large outer teeth, movable finger with 
only one minute tooth on inner lateral margin, semi la almost 
smooth and obsolete, without teeth (Figs 15, 16). Pedipalp. 
Trochanter produced and pointed distally, with seven stout 
setae (Fig. 1 7); femur broad, short, armed with 6-7 stout setae 
on outer surface, and 2-3 pairs of setae present on inner 
surface (Fig. 1 7); patella not as broad as femur but elongated, 
more smooth and inner surface armed with 2 stout and 
1 weak pilose setae; tibia shorter and thinner than patella, 
armed with 3-4 setae on inner surface, 3 setae on outer 
surface; tarso-basitarsus slightly more than half the tibial 
length, narrowed distally and armed with 3-4 pilose setae on 
inner surface, mesal spur equal to half the claw, claw curved. 



sharp and slightly shorter than tarso-basitarsus length (Fig. 
17). Legs I-IV: I antenniform and tarso-basitarsus proportion 
19:4:5:4:3:20 (Fig. 24). Femur IV 2.9 times as long as wide 
(Fig. 18). 

Paraleetotype 9 body colouration as in d, anterior 
median process more pointed, acute and bent downwards, 
setation on cephalothorax not clear, but anterior sternum with 
4 setae and a pair of long sternapophysial setae, posterior 
sternum not sclerotized and with only 4 setae; Flagellum-. 
broken on anterior tip, remaining portion with two faint annuli, 
genital sternite (V) with 6 scattered setae, spermathecae not 
dissected, (Diagram after Cokendolpher, unpubl. data) 
(Fig. 20), Pedipalp-. produced but not as pointed as in male, 
Legs I antenniform, tarso-basitarsus proportion 20:3:4:4:5:10. 
Femur IV 2.65 times longer than wide. Leg formula 1423. 



Table 3: Measurements (in mm) for <j "Schizomus" lunatus Gravely 





Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


0.77 


0.51 


0.55 


0.58 


1.65 


Femur 


1.82 


1.76 


3.30 


2.97 


4 18 


Patella 


1.87 


5.28 


1.76 


1.54 


1.76 


Tibia 


1.82 


- 


2.64 


1.27 


2.86 


Basitarsus 




- 


2.15 


1.43 


3.14 


Tarsus 


1.10 


- 


1.38 


1.32 


2.87 


Total 


7.38 


- 


11.78 


9.11 


16.46 


Table 4: Measurements in 


mm for 


¥ "Schizomus" lunatus Gravely 




Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


1.54 


1.16 


0.55 


0.72 


0.83 


Femur 


1.65 


3.30 


2.31 


2.20 


3.36 


Patella 


1.60 


4.18 


1.49 


1.10 


1.49 


Tibia 


1.32 


2.92 


1.43 


1.27 


2.37 


Basitarsus 






1.49 


1.05 


1.87 


Tarsus 


0.99 


2.43 


1.10 


0.88 


1.27 


Total 


7.10 


13.99 


8.37 


7.22 


11.19 



214 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 



Type data: Lectotype d\ Paraleetotype 9 , from Indian 
Museum Compound and Tollygunge, Calcutta, Coll. F.H. 
Gravely, date unknown, deposited in National Zoological 
Collection, ZSI, Kolkata Regn. No. not available. 

Remarks: Reddell and Cokendolpher (1995) have 
retained 37 species, new as well as some undescnbed, under 
the genus “ Schizotnus ” including the species Schizomus 
lunatus Gravely, stating “in the absence of adults, study of 
the female genitalia, or taxonomic revision, these species 
cannot be placed in any recognized genus.” For such species, 
the generic name Schizomus is placed in inverted commas. So 
the species is being retained as “ Schizomus ” lunatus Gravely 
at present. 

3. Notozomus perplexus (Gravely) comb. nov. (Figs 25-37) 
1915a. Schizomus (Trithyreus) perplexus Gravely, Rec. 
Indian Mus. 77:383-385. 



1961. Trithyreus perplexus Remy, Bull, de Mus. Natl, 
de Hist. Nat. 2e Ser. 33: 206-14 

1995. “ Schizomus " perplexus Reddell and 
Cokendolpher, Texas Mem Mus Speleol Monogr No. 4: 4, 20 
and 53, 

General: 9 Total length 4.50 mm, delicate, yellowish- 
brown, pale on appendages (Table 5). 

Cephalothorax: Propeltidium longer than wide, median 
surface raised and appearing convex medially, lateral margins 
narrowing anteriorly and ending in a sub-conical process, 
not very acute, armed with an anterior and three pairs of dorsal 
setae; a pair of lateral ocelli not very distinct, mesopeltidia 
distinct, placed between carapace and metapeltidium, 
metapeltidium divided medially on posterior portion, anterior 
margin parallel to propeltidium but rounded on posterior lateral 
margins (Fig. 25); anterior sternum broad, pointing posteriorly, 
setae on anterior sternum 8 and a pair of long stemapophysial 




Figs 25-37: Notozomus perplexus (Gravely) comb, nov., 25. Pro, meso and metapeltidium, dorsal view, 
26. Chelicera, outer view, 27. Pedipalp (9), lateral (mesal), view, 28. Pedipalp (cf), lateral (mesal) view, 
29 Basitarsus-tarsus (?), lateral view, 30. Flagellum (cf), lateral view, 31. Flagellum (cf ), ventral view, 
32 Flagellum ( 9 ), lateral view, 33. Spermathecae, ventral view, 34. Tarso-basitarsus 1(9), lateral view, 
35. Tarso-basitarsus I (cf ), lateral view, 36. Femur IV (cf ), lateral view, 37. Femur IV ( 9 ), lateral view 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



215 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 



setae present, posterior sternum small, sub-triangular but setal 
numbers and position not clear. 

Abdomen: All tergites smooth, tergite I much narrower 
and with 2 distal setae, tergites II-IX with 2 dorsal and 2 lateral 
setae, segment X with 8 + 8 = 1 6, XI with 6 + 6 = 12 and XII 
with 4 = 4 = 8 setae, flagellum: narrow, shaft with 3 annuli, 
0.984 mm long and 0. 1 64 mm wide, with 7 strong, stout setae 
(Fig. 32 ). Spermathecae : Consisting of only a pan- of bifurcated, 
much elongated and incurved stalks, each branch ending in a 
sclerotized bulb, flat on distal marginal ends (Fig. 33). 

Appendages: Chelicera : basal segment smooth, setae 
present as 1 -4, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3 5-7 and 6- 1 , immovable finger with 
a strong basal tooth without a notch and armed with 3 minute 
teeth on inner margin, movable finger smooth without serrula 
and with a file of short setae on inner margin ( Fig. 26); Pedipalp: 
with trochanter produced, with blunt anterior process, coxa 
fiat with 6-7 distally pointed strong spines on the margin, 
femur curved, as long as coxa, bearing 1 or 2 minute tubercles 
on inner margin, patella a little longer than femur, smooth, 
tibia almost as long as patella, narrowed distally and provided 
with a few small spines, basitarsus almost half as long as 
tibia, narrowed distally, single sub-apical spur located 
ventrally on tarso-basitarsus, claw not even l/3 rd as long as 
upper margin of tarso-basitarsus (Fig. 27); Legs I-IV: 

I antenniform, tarso-basitarsus proportion 1 1:4:4:3:4:5:21 not 
very long but comparatively thin (Fig. 35); Coxa II bearing a 
short, shaip spur-like process directed anterio-laterally, femur 
IV slightly more than 2.34 times longer than wide. Legs II-IV 
each with three claws. 

Paralectotype: d Cephalothorax finely granular on 
anterior side, otherwise same as in female; Pedipalp-. much 
stronger and stouter; trochanter laterally flat, ventral margin 
straight and distally bearing a pair of uneven but strong spurs; 
femur also flattened, shorter than trochanter, bearing a few 
short denticulate spines on inner margin; patella almost as 
long as femur, bearing a pair of short tubercles on inner surface; 
tibia as long as but wider than patella, proximal inner portion 
elevated and provided with a few delicate setae; single 
elongated spur on inner surface of tarso-basitarsus, claw as 
long as half the upper margin of tarso-basitarsus (Figs 28, 
29). Leg /: antenniform, tarso-basitarsus proportion 
14:5:4:5:4:5:22 (Fig. 34). Femur IV 2.8 times longer than wide 
(Fig. 37); Leg formula 1423. Flagellum-. 1.03 mm long, 
3-annulated, distal annulus flat, expanded laterally, like an 
arrow (Fig. 30), first annulus without setae, serves as stalk, 
distal two annuli not distinctly separated, covered with 10-12 
major setae, distal surface fiat with a median pore and ventral 
surface convex in the middle (Fig. 3 1 ). 

Type data: 1 9 , Lectotype( studied), 79 9 Paraleetotypes 
(2 9 9 without flagellum), 3 d d Paraleetotypes ( 1 d without 



Table 5: Measurements (in mm) for 
<$ Notozomus perplexus Gravely 





Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


1.70 


0.50 


0.40 


0.30 


0.50 


Femur 


1.70 


2.40 


1.40 


1.60 


1.70 


Patella 


1.30 


2.70 


0.60 


0.80 


1.90 


Tibia 


1.20 


2.00 


0.60 


1.10 


1.70 


Basitarsus 


0.80 


1.80 


1.00 


0.80 


1.10 


Tarsus 






0.80 


0.70 


0.90 


Total 


6.70 


9.40 


4.80 


5.30 


7.80 



flagellum), numerous immature specimens in separate vial 
stating 5. (Th.) buxtoni Gravely, comments are not clear. All 
collected by B.H. Buxton, date unknown; Locality: Polonurwa, 
Sri Lanka (Ceylon), all deposited in National Zoological 
Collection, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, Regn. No.: 
not available. 

Remark: Since the characters and illustrations given 
lor the genus Notozomus Harvey by Reddell and 
Cokendolpher ( 1995) agree with Schizomus perplexus Gravely, 
specially in the basic structure of the spermathecae, the author 
proposes to transfer the species to genus Notozomus Harvey 
as Notozomus perplexus (Gravely) comb. nov. 

4. “Schizomus” greeni Gravely (Figs 38-44) 

1912. Schizomus ( Trithyreus ) greeni Gravely, Rec 
Indian Mus. / 2: 108-109. 

1974a. Trithyreus greeni Brignoli, Acad. Nazi, d’ Lin. 
Prob. Att. d Sci & Cult. Quad. 17(2): 143-152. 

1995. Schizomus greeni Reddell & Cokendolpher, Texas 
Mem. Mus. Speleol. Monogr. No. 4: 48. 

General: 9 Yellowish body, paler on appendages, 
carapace twice as long as wide, ocelli absent, pedipalp delicate, 
legs normal and flagellum broken. 

Measurements (in mm): Total length 6.80, carapace 
length 2.80, carapace width 1.10, abdomen length 4.00, 
flagellum broken, could not be measured (Table 6). 

Cephalothorax: Propeltidium more than twice as long 
as wide, much wider at anterior end, dorsal surface convex, 
more prominently on anterior side and ending anteriorly in a 
sub-conical process (Fig. 38), 1 anterior and 2 dorsal pairs of 
setae on propeltidium, no ocelli present, mesopeltidia narrow 
and not very clear, metapeltidia placed close to posterior 
margin of propeltidium, parallel and also undivided medially, 
but a faint median suture noticeable at 1 /3 rd distance from 
anterior end and 1 /3 rd distance from posterior end. 

Abdomen: Tergite I narrowed anteriorly, tergites II-IX 
smooth, setation not clear except for one pair of median setae 
on each tergite, segments X-XII contracted, may be due to 
preservation, flagellum short, 3-segmented. Spermathecae not 
observed, specimen probably immature. 



216 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 




Figs 38-44: Schizomus greeni Gravely, 38. Pro, meso and metapeltidium, dorsal view, 

39. Pro, meso and metapeltidium, lateral view, 40. Chelicera, inner view, 41 . Chelicera, outer view, 
42. Pedipalp, lateral (mesal), view, 43. Tarso-basitarsus I, lateral view, 44. Femur IV, lateral view 



Appendages: Chelicera : with setae 1-4, 2-?, 3-5, 4-2, 5- 
? and 6- 1 . immovable finger with 3 minute teeth between 2 large 
teeth (Figs 40, 41), movable finger smooth with no teeth or 
serrula, but armed with a row of short setae on mesal margin. 
Pedipalp-. delicate, not at all strong and stout, trochanter 
margin not straight or provided with spur, and also not very 
flat laterally; femur smooth, almost as long as trochanter; 
patella tubular, as long as preceding segment, smooth; tibia 
about as long as patella, smooth and tapering distally; tarso- 
basitarsus with a small delicate basal spine, claw also short 
and delicate, not even 1/4"' of exterior basitarsal marginal 
length, only mesal spur prominent (Fig. 42). Legs I-IV: 
1 antenmform and much longer (Fig. 43), II & IV with femora 
much flattened and femur IV more than twice as long as wide 
(Fig. 44). Leg formula 1423. 



Table 6: Measurements (in mm) for 9 “Schizomus" greeni Gravely 





Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


0.90 


0.60 


0.40 


0.60 


0.65 


Femur 


0.80 


1.80 


1.60 


1.40 


1.50 


Patella 


1.10 


2.30 


0.80 


0.60 


0.90 


Tibia 


0.80 


1.70 


1.00 


0.80 


1.10 


Basitarsus 


0.60 


1.00 


0.90 


0.90 


1.30 


Tarsus 




0.80 


0.70 


0.70 


0 90 


Total 


4.20 


8.20 


5.40 


5.00 


6.35 



Type data: 1 9 Lectotype from under a stone at 
Ambalagonda, S. Province, Sri Lanka (Ceylon); one specimen 
from compound of the Museum, Colombo, 20.vn. 1912. Coll. E.E. 
Green; deposited in National Zoological Collection, ZSI, 
Kolkata. Regn. No.: Not available, d unknown. 

Remarks: Since the author could not study the 
genitalia in detail, as the specimen was probably an immature 
female he retains the species as “ Schizomus ” greeni Gravely 
at present. 

5. “ Schizomus ” vittatus Gravely (Figs 45-47) 

1911b. Schizomus (Tritliyreus) vittatus Gravely. Spolia 
zeylanica 8: 135-140 

1972. Trithyreus vittatus Shimojana, Idea, Tokyo 26: 
100-106. 

1995. “ Schizomus " vittatus Reddell & Cokendo lpher, 
Texas Mem. Mus. Speleol. Monogr. No. 4: 55-56. 

No description provided, diagrams only for cephalothorax, 
chelicera and flagellum given for 9 specimen (cotype, 
probably immature specimen). 

Type data: 69 9 cotypes from Royal Botanical Garden, 
Peradeniya and Paralema, Sri Lanka (Ceylon); date unknown. 
Coll. F.H. Gravely, National Zoological Collection, ZSI, Kolkata, 
Regn. No.: Not available. 

Remarks: The author was provided only 1 9 specimen, 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



217 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 




Figs 45-47: Schizomus vittatus Gravely, 

45. Pro, mesoand metapeltidium, dorsal view, 

46. Chelicera, inner view, 47. Flagellum (E), lateral view 

which was in fragile condition and probably an immature, so 
he was unable to study this species in detail, particularly the 
genitalia. Therefore he retains it as “ Schizomus ” vittatus 
Gravely. 

Bunnezonius gen. nov. 

Diagnosis: Anterior process of propeltidium beak-like, 
bent and bearing 3 setae, one in front and followed by a pair 
of setae, eyespots present, metapeltidium undivided, 
trochanter strongly produced anteriorly and broadly 
connected to femur, trochanter with strong mesal spur, femur 
curved on exterior portion without spinose setae, patella not 
much curved but bearing 3 tubercles on interior margin, tibia 
without spur but tarsus bearing tarsal spur, movable cheliceral 
finger without serrula, anterodorsal margin of femur IV 
produced at an angle more than 90°, female flagellum single, 
without any segment, spermathecae with uneven number of 
banded, rod-like structures ending in pointed or cup shape, 
gonopod short and pointed. 

Type species: Schizomus cavernicola (Gravely) 

Distribution: Khayon caves near Moulmain, Myanmar 
(Burma). 

Etymology: The generic name derived from Burma and 



the Burmese people, suffixing the generic name zomus. The 
gender is masculine. 

6. Burmezomus cavernicola (Gravely) comb. nov. 
(Figs48-56) 

1912. Schizomus (s. st.) cavernicola Gravely, Rec. 
Indian Mus. 7: 107-109. 

1977. Schizomus cavernicola Rowland & Reddell, 
Assoc. Mexican Cave Studies Bull 6\ 79-102. 

1995. Schizomus cavernicola. Reddell & Cokendolpher, 
Texas Mem. Mus. Speleol. Monogr. No. 4\ 48. 

General: Lectotype $ body greyish-yellow, lighter on 
appendages except brownish red tips, pedipalp, tarsus, claws 
and stout spines. 

Measurements (in mm): Total length 6.46; 
Cephalothorax length 2.24, Cephalothorax width 1.23, 
abdomen length 3.66, flagellum length 0.56 and width 0.2. 

Cephalothorax. Propeltidium beaked anterior, beak 
acutely bent forward, supported with one long seta followed 
by a pair of setae at the base of beak, 3 pairs of dorsal setae 
(Fig. 48). A distinct pair of white eyespots present on anterio- 
lateral portion (Fig. 48). Mesopeltidia very narrow and 
separated medially. Metapeltidium undivided, almost 
rectangular, slightly longer than wide, provided with a pair of 
posterior median setae. 

Abdomen: Tergites I-IX smooth, each with a pair of 
median setae, other setae not clear, segments X-XII 
telescoped, setae dropped, except for a few dorsal setae on 
segment X. Stermtes also smooth, except for 7-8 setae on 
segment I, no setation clearly seen, anterior sternum with 6 
setae visible and a pair of long sternapophysial setae, 
posterior sternum not much sclerotized and with 5-6 small 
reddish setae. Flagellum', single annulus, short 2.8 times 
longer than wide, 3d. 3vl and 2v pairs of setae (Fig. 49), 
Spermathecae consist of elongated bar-like structures of 
uneven length and numbers, some tapering, pointed distally 
and some with cup-shaped distal end, all evenly banded (Fig. 
50-52). 

Appendages: Chelicera'. basal segment smooth with 
setal types 1 -4, 2-2, 3- 1 , 4-?, 5-4 and 6- 1 , fixed finger with 5 
serrulated sharply pointed teeth between two large outer 
teeth, movable finger smooth without teeth or serrula on 
inner margin (Fig. 53). Pedipalp-. robust, produced anteriorly 
into a pointed spine on anterior portion (Fig. 54), femur and 
patella equal in length, but femur wider than patella, tibia 
shorter than patella and narrowed distally, tarso-basitarsus 
shorter than patella and tarsal claw almost half as long as 
basitarsus. Legs l-l V: measurement as in Table 7, 1 antenniform 
(Fig. 56), Femur IV slightly less than 3 times longer than wide 
(Fig. 55). Leg formula 1423. 



218 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 




V 

I mm 




Figs 48-56: Burmezomus cavernicola (Gravely) comb, nov., 48. Anterior portion of propeltidium, lateral view, 
49. Flagellum ( ? ), lateral view, 50 Spermathecae, ventral view, 51 Spermathecae, ventral view (enlarged), 
52. Spermathecal rods, distal portions, ventral view (enlarged), 53. Chelicera, inner view, 

54. Pedipalp, lateral (mesal) view, 55. Femur IV, lateral view, 56 Tarso-basitarsus, lateral view 



Table 7: Measurements (in mm) for 
? of Burmezomus cavernicola (Gravely) 





Pedipalp 


Legs 1 


II 


III 


IV 


Trochanter 


0.65 


0.52 


0.22 


0.30 


0.56 


Femur 


0.82 


2.11 


1.55 


1.29 


2.28 


Patella 


0.77 


2.41 


0.56 


0.47 


0.82 


Tibia 


0.43 


1.98 


0.77 


0.65 


1.38 


Basitarsus 






0.82 


0.68 


1.12 


Tarsus 


0.52 


1.38 


0.60 


0.62 


0.86 


Total 


3.19 


8.40 


4.52 


4.01 


7.02 



Type data: 2 ? 9 Lectotype, in depths of big dark cave 
(the famous Khayon cave) near Moulmain, Myanmar 
(= Burma). Coll. F.H. Gravely, 1 7.xi -4.xii.191 1, deposited at 
National Collection, ZSI, Kolkata, Regn. No. 2161/18, 
d unknown. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I sincerely thank Dr. A.K. Ghosh, Ex. Director and 
Dr. J.R.B. Alfred Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata 
for facilities and constant encouragement. I will always be deeply 
indebted to J.C. Cokendolpher and J.R. Reddell, Texas, USA 
and M.S. Harvey, Western Australian Museum, Perth, Australia 
for their kindness in providing me literature, especially the 
recently published monograph, encouragement and help during 
this work. I am thankful to Drs. S.K. Tandon, A.K. Sanyal, P.T. 
Bhutia, T.K. Pal, M.S. Pradhan and B.K. Biswas, Zoological 
Survey of India, for extending many facilities and help during 
the work. I am deeply grateful to Sn P. W. Garde, Sr. Artist for his 
painstaking efforts in making special inclined illustrations. I also 
wish to thank my wife Mrs. Bharati, for sparing me the time to 
complete this work. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



219 



REVISION OF SOME SPECIES OF FAMILY SCHIZOMIDAE 



REFERENCES 



Bastawade. D.B. (1985): The first report of the Order Schizomida 
(Arachnida) from Southern India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 
82(3): 690. 

Bastawade, D.B. (2001 ): Redescnption of Schizomus buxtoni Gravely 
from Sn Lanka on the basis of Syntype deposited in the Zoological 
Survey of India, Calcutta by F.H. Gravely 1915. J. Bombay Nat 
Hist. Soc. 98: 135-137. 

Bastawade, D.B. (2002): Two new species of Sclnzomids from India 
with range extension for Schizomus tikaden (Arachnida: 
Schizomida). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 99(1): 90-95. 

Bastawade. D.B. & T.K. Pal. (1992): The first record of the Arachnid 
Order Schizomida from Arunachal Pradesh. ./. Bombay Nat. 
Hist. Soc. 89: 137. 

Cok.endoi.pher, J.C. (1988): Review of the Schizomidae (Arachnida: 
Schizomida) of Japan and Taiwan. Bull. Nat. Sci. Mus. Tolcyo. 
Ser. A 14(4): 159-171. 

Coken doi.pher. J.C. & J.R. Reddell (1986): Schizomus siamensis 
(Schizomida: Schizomidae) from eastern Asia and Hawaii. Acta 
Arachnol 35: 23-28. 

Cokendolpher. J.C. & R.W. Sites (1988): A new species of eyed 
Schizomus (Schizomida: Schizomidae) from Java. Acta Arachnol. 
36: 79-85. 

Cokendolpher, J.C., D. Sissom & D.B Bastawade (1988): A new 
Schizomid from Indian state Maharashtra with additional 
comments on eyed Schizomids (Arachnida: Schizomida), Insecta 
Mundi, ((ISA) 2(2): 90-96. 

Fernando. E.F. (1957): A new species of Schizomus ( Trithyreus ) 
fonnicoides from Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Ann Mag. Nat. Hist. 
10(12): 13-16. 

Gravely. F.H. ( 191 la): Notes on Pedipalpi in the collection of Indian 
Museum. Rec. Indian Mus. 6: 33-38. 

Gravely. F.H. (1911b): The species of Ceylon Pedipalpi. Spolia 
zeylanica 7: 135-140. 

Gravely. F.H. (1912): Notes on the Pedipalpi in the collection of 
Indian Museum. Rec. Indian Mus. 7: 101-1 10. 



Gravely. F.H. (1915): Notes on the Pedipalpi in the Collection of 
Indian Museum V, Tarterides, collected by Mr. B.M. Buxton in 
Ceylon and Malaya. Rec. Indian Mus. 11: 383-386. 

Gravel,, F.H. (1925): Tarterides from Siju Caves, Garo Hill. Assam 
(=Meghalaya). Rec Indian Mus. 26: 61-62. 

Pickard-Cambridge, O. (1872): On a new family and genus and two 
new species of Thelyphomdae. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist.. Ser. 4. 10: 
409-413, pi. 22. 

Pocock. R I. (1900): The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and 
Burma. Arachnida, Taylor & Francis, xii + 279 pp 

Reddell, J.R. & J.C. Cokendolpher! 1985): Redescnption of Trithyerus 
grassii (Arachnida: Schizomida: Schizomidae). Oriental Insects 
18: 43-52. 

Reddell, J.R & J.C. Cokendolpher (1991 ): Redescription of Schizomus 
crassicaudatus (Pickard-Cambridge) and diagnoses of 
Hubbardia Cook. Stenichrus Chamberlin, and Sotenostenochrus 
new genus with description of a new species of Hubbardia from 
California (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae). Texas 
Memorial Mus.. Univ. Texas Austin, No. 47: 1-24. 

Reddell, J.R. & J.C Cokendolpher (1995): Catalogue. Bibliography 
and Generic revision of the Order Schizomida (Arachnida). Texas 
Mem. Mus. Speleol. Monogr., No. 4: 1-170. 

Sissom, D. (1980): The eyed Schizomids with the description of new 
species from Sumatra (Schizomida: Schizomidae). J. Arachnol 
8: 187-192. 

Thorell, T. (1883): Descrizione di alcum Aracmdi inferiori dell’ 
Arcipelago Malese. Annali del Museo Civtco di Storm Naturle 
di Genova 18: 21-69. 

Thorell. T. (1888): Pedipalpi e Scorpiom deh Archipelago Malese 
conservati nel Museo Ci vico di Storia Naturale di Genova. Annali 
del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Ser. 2, 6: 327- 
328. 

Thorell, T. ( 1889): Aracmdi Artogastri Birmani racolti da L. Fea nel 
1885-1887. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di 
Genova. Ser. 2, 7: 521- 729. 



220 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



221-223 



DETERMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIOMASS CONSUMED 

AND SCATS PRODUCED IN CAPTIVE ASIATIC LIONS (PANTHERA LEO PERSIC A) 

AND LEOPARDS (. PANTHERA PARDUS )' 

S. Mukherjee 2 - 3 and S.P. Goyal 2 - 4 

'Accepted February 2002 

"Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. No. 18, Chandrabani, Dehra Dun 248 001, Uttaranchal, India. 

"Email: shomitam@yahoo.com 
J Email: goyalsp@vvii.gov. in 

Feeding trials on captive adult Asiatic Lion ( Panthera leo persica) and Leopard (Panthera pardus) were conducted at 
the Sakharbaug zoo, Junagadh (India) to establish a relationship between the amount of food consumed and the scats 
produced. Lions (ave. body mass = 100 kg.) and Leopards (ave. body mass = 50 kg) fed ad libitum on buffalo meat 
consumed an average of 6% and 8% of their total body mass respectively. Biomass ingested by Leopard was significantly 
correlated with the total dry weight of scats (p = 0.01 , r 2 = 0.75), but not with the number of scats produced (r 2 = 0.028) 
Flowever, a relationship was noted between the amount given and biomass consumed per scat (p = 0.04 r 2 = 0.53). For 
lions, no significant correlation was seen, either in the number of scats produced or the dry weight of scats, with the 
amount consumed. Also, the biomass consumed per scat was not correlated with the amount given 



Key words: Feeding trials, scat weight, scat number 

INTRODUCTION 

Calculating the percentage of scats containing different 
prey items, or percent occurrence of prey items is the most 
commonly used method for quantifying diet from scat. This 
method has several limitations. It tends to over-represent 
larger prey, as they induce the production of a greater number 
of scats (Jones and Smith 1979; Weaver and Hoffman 1979; 
Ackerman et al. 1984; Reynolds and Aebischer 1991). 
However, Floyd et al. (1978) concluded that smaller prey 
would be over-represented in terms of weight, but under- 
represented m numbers, as small prey species are known to 
produce more indigestible matter, such as hair, due to a higher 
surface to volume ratio than larger prey species. 
Nevertheless, frequency or percent occurrence of prey 
species m scats alone may not be a reliable method to quantify 
predator diet (Floyd et al. 1978; Weaver and Hoffman 1979; 
Ackerman etal. 1984). To overcome this problem, as well as 
to estimate fresh-weight intake, feeding trials on captive 
wolves (Floyd et al. 1978), coyotes (Weaver and Hoffman 
1979) and cougars (Ackerman et al. 1984) were conducted 
and correction factors were obtained from regressions of 
food consumed to scat produced. This can be applied to the 
data obtained as percentage of scats having a prey item, to 
obtain reliable estimates of biomass consumed by the 
predator (Floyd et al. 1978; Weaver and Hoffman 1979; 
Ackerman et al. 1 984 ). 

We conducted feeding trials to establish the relationship 
between biomass consumed and scat produced in captive 
Asiatic Lions and Leopards. 



METHODS 

Feeding trials were conducted during August 1993. 
Eight captive adult Lions and Leopards each were chosen for 
the feeding trials at the Sakharbaug zoo in Junagadh, Gujarat 
and each animal was housed in a separate cage. Food was 
withdrawn for 48 hours before commencing the feeding trials 
to remove the effect of the previous diet, and the scats from 
the earlier diet were rejected. As buffalo meat was the regular 
diet of the cats at the zoo, the experimental animals were also 
fed buffalo meat along with skin and hair. The Lions were 
given 6 to 20 kg meat and Leopards 3 to 10 kg. The animals 
were randomly fed 3/6 kg to 10/20 kg of meat for one day. 
Water was provided ad libitum. After 24 hours, the 
unconsumed meat was weighed to determine the amount 
consumed by individuals. Food was again withdrawn until 
scat production ceased. All scats produced during this period 
were collected, and oven dried at 70 °C for a week, and weighed 
to the nearest 0.1 gm. 

RESULTS 

The captive Asiatic Lions and Leopards which had been 
unfed for 48 hrs consumed a mean of 6. 1 kg ( Range: 1 - 1 5 kg) 
and 4.3 kg (Range: 1 .5-6.5 kg) respectively. This amounts to 
6% and 8% of the body mass of the lion and leopard 
respectively per day. The maximum meat consumed by both 
cats equals 10% to 12% of their body weights, per day. 

Meat consumption was proportional to the amount 
available (Fig. 1). This relationship was stronger in case of 



DETERMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIOMASS CONSUMED AND SCATS PRODUCED IN CAPTIVE CATS 




c 



•o 

V 

E 

3 

</> 

e 

o 

(J 

c 

3 

o 

E 

< 



c 

3 

O 

E 

< 



16 
14 
12 - 
10 
8 
6 
4 
2 
0 



lions 

y = 0 4848x 
R 2 = 0 4562 




■ft <J 

O 3 
V. “o 

S O 

=Q W 4 

E 1 

3 

z 




0 -t T T , ! , T , , , T i 

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 



0 



lions 

R 2 = 0 0342 




2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 




• • 



leopards 

R 2 = 0.0282 



2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 



Amount given in kg. 



Amount consumed in kg. 



Fig. 1 : Relationship between the amount of food given to 
Asiatic Lions and Leopards and the amount consumed by them 



Fig. 2: Relationship between amount of meat consumed by 
Asiatic Lions and Leopards and the number of scats produced 



leopards (Fig. 1 ) (r = 0.64, p = 0.01 ) than in lions (r 2 = 0.45, p = 

0.05). However, consumption seemed to stabilize around 6 to 
6.5 kg for leopards when given more than 8 kg of meat. In case 
of lions, some individuals consumed less meat irrespective of 
the amount supplied, making the relationship weaker. 

In both the cats, the relationship between biomass 
ingested and the number of scats produced did not yield 
much information, as the maximum number of scats produced 
was two for 2 kg as well as 6 kg of meat consumed (Fig. 2). 
However, for leopards, biomass per scat was related to amount 
given by the equation y = 0.6533x - 1.1 994 (r : = 0.53, p = 0.04) 
(Fig. 3). This was not seen in lions. The biomass ingested by 
leopard was significantly correlated with the total dry weight 
of scats produced (Fig. 4), but lions did not show a correlation 
between biomass ingested and total dry weight of scats. 

DISCUSSION 

The amount of food consumed by captive large felines 
agrees with other studies in the wild where felids and canids 
consumed on an average food 7% to 10% of then body mass 
(Golley etal. 1965; Kolenosky 1 972; Nellis etal. 1972; Johnsingh 
1983;Caro 1989; Aldama 1991; Jhala 1991;Stander etal. 1997). 

Studies on wolf, coyote, and cougars have shown a 
significant relationship between biomass ingested and the 
number of scats produced when given wild prey (Floyd etal. 
1978, Weaver and Hoffman 1979, Ackerman et al. 1984). 



However, the slope for the regression of biomass per scat 
and amount given in leopards was steeper than estimated for 
cougars (Ackerman 1984) and wolves (Floyd etal. 1978). 
This suggests that leopards produced fewer (maximum two), 
but heavier scats than cougars and wolves. Ackerman et al. 
(1984) observed that wolves produced approximately four 
times more scats than cougars, but the scat weight was higher 
in cougars than wolves. However, Ackerman etal. (1984) and 
Floyd et al. (1978) estimated only wet weight of scats while 
we estimated dry weights, these could not be compared. The 
difference between the equations generated for cougars and 
leopards could also be due to the fact that we could give the 
cats only one prey type, while the other studies (Floyd et al. 
1978; Ackerman et al. 1984) gave several wild prey types. 
Hence, this trend with leopards needs to be validated by 
providing them with natural prey. 

Tions showed a greater amount of grooming as indicated 
from remains of self-hair in the scats of non-expenmental animals 
(which were given dressed meat). 'This could be the reason for 
the lack of correlation in the case of lions. 

Some major problems that can be expected during 
feeding trials with zoo-bred animals are: 

1. Animals may not feed on meat other than the type they 
are used to. 

2. Animals may reject skin and hair totally. 

3. Consumption of self-hair by predators while grooming 
could lead to erroneous results from scat analysis. 



222 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



DETERMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN BIOMASS CONSUMED AND SCATS PRODUCED IN CAPTIVE CATS 



-O _ 

3 -s 

s ® 

o jt: 
o ^ 

(0 u 

<3 M 

C k- 
O 9 

a s - 



8 

7 - 

6 

5 

4 

3 

2 

1 

0 -- 
0 



2 



4 



6 



lions 



8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 






leopards 

y = 6.9671x+ 5.279 
R 2 = 0.7539 



2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 



Amount consumed in kg. 



Fig. 3: Relationship between the amount of food given to 
Asiatic Lions and Leopards and the biomass consumed per scat 



Fig. 4: Relationship between amount of meat consumed by 
Asiatic Lions and Leopards and the dry weight of scats 



CONCLUSIONS 

1. Captive Asiatic Lions and Leopards consumed food 
between 5% to 10% of their body mass. 

2. Leopards consumed food in proportion to availability. This 
was not seen in Asiatic Lions. 

3. Total number of scats produced is not a good indicator of 
the amount of food consumed for both Asiatic Lions and 
Leopards. 

4. The dry weight of scats showed a strong relation to the 
amount of food consumed, in case of leopards but not lions. 



5. Biomass per scat was related to the amount of food given 
in the case of leopards but not in lions. This trend for 
leopards needs to be validated through feeding trials with 
natural prey. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

We thank the Director, Wildlife Institute of India for 
supporting this study. We also thank the Gujarat Forest 
Department, Mr. Rawal and Dr. Sabapara for permissions, and 
encouragement while conducting the study. 



REFERENCES 



Ackerman, B B.. F.G. Lindzey & T P. Hemker (1984): Cougar food 
habits in Southern Utah. J. Wildl. Manage. 48: 147-155. 

Aldama, J.J., J.F Beltran & M Delibes ( 1 991 ): Energy expenditure 
and prey requirements of free ranging Iberian lynx in South 
Western Spain. J. Wildl. Manage. 55: 635-641. 

Caro. T.M. (1989): Determinants of asociahty in Fel ids. Pp. 41-74. 
In: Comparative socioecology of humans and other mammals 
(Eds: Standen V. & R.A. Foley). Special publication series of the 
British Ecological Society, No. 8, Oxford: Blackwell Scientific 
Publication. 

Floyd. T.J., I D Mech & P.A. Jordan (1978): Relating wolf scat 
content to prey consumed. J. Wild l. Manage. 42: 528-532. 

Golley, F.B , G.A. Petrides, E.L. Rauber & J H. Jenkins ( 1965): Food 
intake and assimilation by bobcats under laboratory conditions. 
J. Wildl. Manage. 29: 442-447. 

Jhala, Y.V. (1991): Habitat and population dynamics of wolves and 
blackbuck in Velavadar National Park, Gujarat, India. Ph.D 
Dissertation. The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State 



University. Blacksburg, Virginia. 

Johnsingh, A.J.T. (1983): Large mammalian prey - predators in 
Bandipur. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 80: 1-57. 

Jones, H.J. & S.N. Smith ( 1 979): Bobcat density and prey selection in 
Central Arizona. J. Wildl. Manage 43: 666-672. 

Kolenosky, G.B. (1972): Wolf predation on wintering deer in East- 
Central Ontario. J Wildl. Manage. 36: 357-369. 

Nellis, C.H., S.P Wetmore & L.B. Keith ( 1972): Lynx prey interactions 
in Central Alberta. J. Wildl. Manage. 36: 320-328. 

Reynolds, J.C. & N..I. Aebischer ( 1 99 1 ): Comparison and quantification 
of carnivore diet by faecal analysis: a critique with 
recommendations based on a study of the Fox Vulpes. Mammal 
Rev. 21: 97-122. 

Stander, P.E., P.J. Haden, Kaqece, // & Ghau, // ( 1 997): The ecology 
of asocialily in Namibian leopards. J. Zool. (Lond.) 242: 343- 
364. 

Weaver, J L. & S.W. Hoffman (1979) Differential detectability of 
rodents in coyote scats. J. Wild!. Manage 43: 783-786. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



223 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



224-226 



NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF FERNS AND THEIR RELATION TO INSECT INFESTATION 
FROM DARJEELING FOOTHILLS AND PLAINS' 

A. Mukhopadhyay 2, 3 AND D. ThaPA 2 '' 4 

'Accepted June 2002 

-’Zoology Department, North Bengal University, District Darjeeling, Pin 734 430, West Bengal, India. 

'Email: dr_amukherjee_nbu@rediffmail.com 
J Email : diwakar55@yahoo.com 

Some dietary parameters of five common fern species from the Darjeeling foothills and plains were analysed. Biomolecules 
like proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, as well as phenols, fibres and moisture content of mature fronds were studied to 
understand the basis of colonization by fern-attacking insects. High moisture content, along with high nutritive protein 
and carbohydrate levels of mature fronds of Diplazium esculentum (Retz.) Sw. and Christella crinipes (Hk.) Holt 
appeared to be important factors in determining the palatability and infestation of the fern species by insect herbivores 

Key words: Nutritional status, host fern, insect herbivory 



INTRODUCTION 

Ferns are apparently found to be underutilized as food 
plants by insect herbivores (Soo Hoo and Fraenkel 1964, 
Eastop 1973, Hendrix 1980, Cooper-Driver 1978). However, 
intensive studies on insect-fern relationships show that some 
fern species are palatable and well exploited by insects as 
food plant. Thus, the assumption that ferns are underutilized 
may be an artifact of inadequate sampling (Hendrix and 
Marquis 1983). Nevertheless, it has been adequately 
documented that certain chemicals (Karlson and Bode 1969, 
Daniel and Chandrasekar 1986), as well as physical factors 
(Soo Hoo and Fraenkel 1964) determine the resistance and 
non-palatability of ferns. 

In a study on ferns from the foothills and plains of 
Darjeeling, it was noted that the common ferns, Diplazium 
esculentum (Retz.) Sw. and Christella crinipes (Hk.) Holt 
were the most preferred food plants. While a meagre 
infestation of Lindsaea ensifolia Sw and Microlepia 
speluncae (L. ) Moore has been recorded, no insect herbivores 
have so far been observed on Dicranopteris linearis (Brum. 
F.) Underus. (Mukhopadhyay and Thapa 1994). To 
understand the preference and colonization by insect 
herbivores, five common fern species were analysed for 
proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and fibres, moisture and total 
phenols. 

METHODS 

Nutritive carbohydrate of dry fern powder of middle- 
aged fronds was estimated using the techniques of Plummer 
( 1979) and Ananthakrishnan ( 1990). Protein was extracted as 
per Draper ( 1 976), and estimated as in Lowry et al. (1951). 
Total lipid was estimated by the standard gravimetric 
technique using petroleum ether as solvent. Total phenol was 



assayed from the ethanol extract as per Hon ( 1 974). Moisture 
content was estimated by drying the fronds in an oven at 50 
°C for 48 hrs. Fibre (non-extractable components) was assayed 
as per Rowell et al. (1983). 

RESULTS 

The biochemical analysis of the fern species revealed 
that although the total storage protein was highest in 
Christella crinipes and Dicranopteris linearis , the 
nutritionally higher quality protein, albumin and globulin, far 
exceeded in the fonner. Total protein in Diplazium esculentum 
followed close behind, with a fair amount of albumin and 
globulin. Total protein was least in Microlepia speluncae , 
and marginally higher in Lindsaea ensifolia. Glutelin, second 
amongst nutritive proteins (Slansky and Pamzzi 1987), was 
highest in Diplazium esculentum , and considerably low for 
the other fern species. Prolamine, the poorest of storage 
proteins, was highest in Dicranopteris linearis , followed by 
Lindsaea ensifolia. where it was almost half that of the highest 
value. In the other fern species, the value was almost equal to 
that of L. ensifolia (Table 1). 

Total carbohydrate comprised monosaccharides and 
oligosaccharides, and starch. They were highest in L ensifolia 
closely followed by Diplazium esculentum and Christella 
crinipes. The level was comparatively low in Microlepia 
speluncae and the lowest in Dicranopteris linearis. The 
quantity of both the mono- and oligosaccharide is less than 
starch in all the species. Maximum starch was found in 
Christella crinipes followed by Diplazium esculentum. It was 
comparatively less in the other species (Table 1 ). Total lipid 
was highest in Lindsaea ensifolia , while it was lowest in 
Dicranopteris linearis. Total lipid was almost half of Lindsaea 
ensifolia in Christella crinipes followed by D. esculentum 
and M. speluncae (Table 1 ). 



NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF FERNS AND THEIR RELATION TO INSECT INFESTATION 



Table 1: Comparison of basic nutritional components (mg/g) of five fern species (Mean ±SE) 



Fern species 


Albumin + 
Globulin 


Glutelin 


Prolamine 


Total 

Protein 


Monosaccharide + 
Oligosaccharide 


Starch 


Total 

Carbohydrate 


Total 

Lipid 


Diplazium 

esculentum 


96.85 ±0.66 


68.09 ±0.23 


19.37 ±0.05 


184 32 ±0.58 


96.69 ±0.64 


126.9 ±0.34 


223.65 ±0.90 


23.03 ± 0.85 


Christella 

crinipes 


163.26 ±1.21 


10.12 ±0.13 


18.17 ±0.02 


190.36 ±0.66 


89.78 ±0.51 


130.9 ±0.05 


220.76 ±0.52 


36.52 ±1.17 


Lindsaea 

ensifolia 


69.18 ±0.40 


8.40 ±0.13 


36.37 ±0.02 


113.97 ±0.52 


133.5 ±0.44 


94.66 ±0.21 


228.22 ±0.97 


64.10 ±1.08 


Microlepia 

speluncae 


50.20 ±0.48 


9.55 ±0.08 


15.99 ±0.04 


75.77 ±0.46 


85.96 ±0.43 


104.5 ±0.19 


190.48 ±0.57 


21.80 ±0.35 


Dicranopteris 

linearis 


106.04 ±0.73 


3.77 ±0.03 


80.38 ±0.07 


190.21 ±0.71 


53.83 ±0.09 


90.89 ±0.14 


144 73 ±0.17 


7.75 ±0.24 



Percentage of moisture was highest in Diplazium 
esculentum , closely followed by Microlepia speluncae. The 
moisture content of Christellci crinipes and Lindsaeci 
ensifolici was slightly reduced with an overlapping value, 
while Dicranopteris linearis had the least. Total phenol was 
estimated to be highest in Lindsaea ensifolia, followed by 
Christella crinipes , Diplazium esculentum and 
Dicranopteris linearis. Microlepia speluncae had a 
remarkably low phenol content. The percentage of fibre (non- 
extractable components) was estimated to be the highest in 
Lindsaea ensifolia and lowest in Dicranopteris linearis. 
The fibre content of Diplazium esculentum and Microlepia 
speluncae had intermediate and overlapping ranges 
(Table 2). 

Observation of the fern vegetation from the foothills 
and plains of Darjeeling have confirmed an association of 
60 insect species from the orders Lepidoptera (12), Coleoptera 
(19), Hemiptera (20), Hymenoptera (4), Orthoptera (2), 
Thysanoptera (2) and Diptera ( 1 ) (Mukhopadhyay and Thapa 
1 994 ). Of these, 1 6 species were regular fern feeders, suckers 



Table 2 Comparison of some dietary factors (Mean ±SE) and 
percentage occurrence of insect-herbivores on five fern species 



Fern species 


Total 

(mg/g) 


Water (%) 


Fibre (%) 


Insect 

occurrence (%) 


Diplazium 


6.90 


81.30 


50.47 


87.50 


esculentum 


±0.20 


±0.29 


±0.27 




Christella 


7.46 


72.13 


54.43 


43.75 


crinipes 


±0.01 


±0.59 


±0.38 




Lindsaea 


8.15 


71.84 


56.07 


6.25 


ensifolia 


±0.35 


±0.54 


±0.37 




Microlepia 


1.85 


79.86 


50.12 


6.25 


speluncae 


±0.02 


±0.41 


±0.35 




Dicranopteris 


6.68 


57.83 


44.39 


0 


linearis 


±0.03 


±0.60 


±0.35 





and miners. The fern species preferred and attacked by most 
of the insects was Diplazium esculentum , followed by 
Christella crinipes. The other species were less attacked or 
colonized by only a few specialized insect herbivores. 

DISCUSSION 

In ferns, higher concentration of protein and nitrogen 
plays a significant synergistic role with other chemicals in 
attracting jassids and aphids (Daniel and Chandrasekhar 
1986). Species like Lindsaea ensifolia and Microlepia 
speluncae with low levels of total protein largely remained 
unexploitedby insects. Dicranopteris linearis with high total 
protein was possibly unpalatable because of its low 
carbohydrate and moisture content. A low concentration of 
carbohydrate has been reported to attract aphids (Daniel 
and Chandrasekar 1986). However, in this study, maximum 
insect attack was recorded on Diplazium esculentum and 
Christella crinipes , both with high total carbohydrates. This, 
however, was matched with high nutritional protein and low 
lipid levels. 

Higher concentration of phenols may act as a repellent 
to insects because of their toxic effect, and this seemed true 
for Lindsaea ensifolia. This species and Dicranopteris 
linearis had the highest and the lowest fibre content 
respectively, but since both were underutilized, fibre content 
alone might not be responsible for the preference of fern as a 
food plant. Rowell et al. ( 1983) in their study on fern-insect 
fauna suggested that the chemical constituents of fern fronds, 
like nitrogen, phenol, tannin, and fibre, had little impact on 
their palatabihty. In the present study, a high percentage of 
moisture in D esculentum along with enhanced protein and 
carbohydrate levels, might have been the deciding factors 
for its greater palatability (81.3%), and overexploitation by 
insects. 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



225 



NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF FERNS AND THEIR RELATION TO INSECT INFESTATION 



REFERENCES 



Ananthakrishnan, T.N. (1990): Workshop manual on Insect-plant 
interactions. S. Viswanathan (Printers and Publishers) Pvt. Ltd., 
Madras (India). 122 pp. 

Cooper- Driver. G.A. (1978): Insect-fern associations. Ent. Exp. et 
Appl. 24: 310-316. 

Daniel. A.M. & S.S. Chandrasekar (1986): Insect-fern interactions 
with particular reference to Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis 
(Bouche) (Thysanoptera: Panchaeothripinae). Curr. Sci. 
55(14): 676-678. 

Draper, S.R. (1976): Biochemical analysis in crop science. Oxford 
University Press, Oxford, England. 130 pp. 

Eastop. V.F (1973): Deductions from the present day host plants of 
aphids and related insects. Symp. R Entomol. Soc. Lond. 
6: 157-173. 

Hendrix, S.D. ( 1980): An evolutionary and ecological perspective of 
the insects of ferns. Am. Nat. 115(2): 171-196. 

Hendrix, S.D. & R.J. Marquis (1983): Fierbivore damage to two tropical 
ferns. Biotropica 15(2): 108-111. 

Hori. K. (1974): Study on the feeding habit of Lygus disponsi Linn. 
(Hemiptera: Miridae) and the injury to the host plant, V. Phenolic 
compounds, acid phosphatase and oxidative enzyme in artificially 
infested tissue of sugar beet leaf. Appl Ent. and Zool. 9: 225- 
230. 



Karlson, P. & P. Bode (1969): Die inaktivierung des Ecdysons bei der 
Schmeissfliege Calliphora erythrocephala Meigen. J. Insect 
Physiol 15: 111-118. 

Lowry, O.H., N.G. Rosenbrough, A.L. Farr & R.G. Randall (1951): 
Protein measurements with Folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 
193: 265-275. 

Muichopadhyay, A. & D. Thapa (1994): Species richness in ferns and 
associated insects from Darjeeling plains. J. Bombay Nat. Hist 
Soc 91(1): 86-90. 

Plummer, T.D. (1979): An Introduction to Practical Biochemistry 
2" d Edn. Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, New 
Delhi. India. 362 pp. 

Slansky, F. Jr. & A.R. Panizzi (1987): Nutritional ecology of the seed- 
sucking insects. Pp. 283-320. In: Nutritional ecology of insects, 
mites, spiders and related invertebrates (Eds: Slansky, F., Jr. & 
J.G. Rodriguez). John Wiley and Sons, New York. 

Soo Hoo, C.F. & G. Fraenkel (1964): The resistance of fern to feeding 
of Prodenia eridania larvae. Annals Ent Soc. Am. 57(6): 788- 
790. 

Rowell, C.H.F., M. Rowell Rahier, H.E. Braker, G. Cooper-Driver 
& L.D. Gomez P. (1983): The palatability of ferns and the 
ecology of two tropical forest grasshoppers. Biotropica 1 5(3): 
207-216. 



226 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



227-234 



ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS, 
NORTHEAST INDIA 1 

A. Christy Williams 2, 3 and A.J.T. Johnsingh 2,4 

'Accepted June 2002 

^Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box 18, Chandrabani, Debra Dun 248 001, Uttaranchal, India. 

-'Email: acwill69@yahoo.com 
'Email: ajtjohnsingh@wii.gov. in 

An assessment of elephant-human conflict was carried out in the Garo hills in northeast India from November 1 994 to 
September 1995. More than 85% (c. 3,605 sq. km) of the estimated elephant habitat is under the control of village 
communities. The predominant land-use pattern on these community lands is slash and burn agriculture, locally known 
as jhum. Our results showed that West Garo Hills district was the area most affected by elephant depredations. The 
landscape pattern resulting from the practice of slash and burn agriculture creates a mosaic of crop fields and forests 
Since the forest patches in these areas are too small to support elephant groups for long periods of time, they move from 
one forest patch to another through crop fields and this leads to crop raiding, the main form of elephant-man conflict 
The economic cost of damage caused in the region has been compared with similar studies in India. Reasons for crop 
raiding and the effectiveness of the current mitigation measures are discussed. The number of elephants killed by 
humans, either during crop raids or by poaching, has gone up in recent years. Recent developmental practices, like 
mining, which are incompatible with elephant conservation, are becoming widespread across the landscape, and are 
likely to increase the rates of elephant-human conflict. Recommendations to understand and reduce the conflict are 
outlined. 

Key words: Elephas maximus, elephant-human conflict, crop raiding, shifting cultivation, northeast India 



INTRODUCTION 

The Asian elephant Elephas maximus in India occurs 
m five major fragmented populations totalling 1 7,000 to 22,000 
individuals (Daniel 1980; Sukumar 1991). The elephant 
populations in south, central, and northwest India occur 
primarily in Forest Department controlled reserved forests, 
wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. However, in northeast 
India, a significant proportion (>40%) of the elephant 
population occurs in community lands, otherwise known 
as unclassified state forests. Most of elephant-human 
conflict studies in India have looked at elephants living 
within protected areas or areas controlled by the Forest 
Department, going out and causing crop depredations and 
loss of lives. However, in northeast India, elephants are living 
in areas controlled by local communities, and therefore 
traditional methods of management to reduce or mitigate the 
conflict are not feasible. This study is the first in India to 
analyse the problem of elephant-human conflict on 
community lands. 

The Garo Hills, in Meghalaya, are a region of high 
elephant density and elephant-human conflict. An estimated 
1,400 elephants occur over 3,605 sq. km of forest, of which 
only 15% is under the control of the Forest Department (Anon 
1994). The 1 993-94 Forest Department census estimated the 
total number of elephants on community lands, managed by 
tribals, to be over 600 (Anon 1994). This census was carried 
out when forests were cleared for cultivation. During such 



times elephants retreat to Forest Department controlled forests 
where disturbances are less, and therefore the estimate for 
community lands could be low. 

The majority of the people living in the Garo Hills 
belong to the Garo tribe. Each Garo village has its own forests, 
demarcated by landmarks, such as streams and ridges. The 
control and management of the forest in eveiy village is under 
the headman who acts in close coordination with the villagers 
(Singh 1994). The majority of the Garos subsist on shifting 
cultivation (jhum), a traditional method where a patch of 
forest is chosen and cleared by slashing the undergrowth 
and felling small trees and bamboo. The larger trees may be 
left intact. The felled vegetation is burnt when it is dry and 
the cleared area is divided into plots. Each plot is allotted to 
a family for cultivation. The area is cultivated for one or two 
years, after which it is abandoned and the people move on to 
another patch of forest to repeat the process. A special clause 
in the Indian Constitution allows them to practice jhum till 
date. 

Approximately 760 sq. km of community forests is 
estimated to be under shifting cultivation or jhum in 
Meghalaya (Husain 1981). This has created a mosaic of 
secondary (bamboo and degraded scrub) forests interspersed 
with cultivation and primary forests. As a result, elephants 
often encounter crop fields, which have little or no protection, 
and raid them as the crops provide an easy source of highly 
nutritious food (Sukumar 1991 ). While attempting to prevent 
crop raiding, there are injuries and loss of human lives eveiy 



ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS 



year. To compensate this depredation, in 1984 the Forest 
Department started paying monetary compensation to the 
victims (Meghalaya Forest Department Office Memorandum 
No. For. 58/83/1 72 dated 25th April 1984). This measure has 
not contributed significantly towards reducing the problem 
of elephant-human conflict (see Results). Since the launching 
of Project Elephant, in 1991-1992, a Government of India 
project for the conservation of elephants in India, there is a 
renewed interest in implementing long-term measures to 
reduce elephant-human conflict. 

Understanding the extent and intensity of the elephant- 
human conflict is important to formulate and implement 
mitigation measures (Thouless 1994; Desai and 
Krishnamurthy 1992) for this and similar areas in northeast 
India and Southeast Asia. The perspective of the local people 
needs to be assessed to come up with workable proposals. In 
this paper, we discuss the intensity of elephant-human conflict 
in Garo Hills and the efficacy of the various mitigation 
measures. Data was collected during a status survey of 
elephants in the region from November 1994 to September 
1995. 

The study area and land use in Garo Hills 

The Garo Hills are one of the hill ranges in the northeast 
Indian state of Meghalaya, the other ranges being the Khasi 
Hills and Jaintia Hills. Garo Hills lie between 25° 9'-26° l'N 
and 84° 49'-9 1 ° 2' E. The region includes three districts, namely 
the West Garo Hills, the East Garo Hills, and the South Garo 
Hills, covermg a total area of 8, 197 sq. km(Fig. 1 ). It is bordered 
on the west and the north by the Assam plains and on the 
south by the Bangladesh plains, while on the east the Garo 
Hills merge with the Khasi Hills. The average altitude is about 
600 m and Nokrek peak, the highest point in Garo Hills, is 
1,412 m (Monnn 1984). The annual rainfall ranges between 
1,500 and 3,500 mm. The human population density in the 
elephant areas of the three districts ranges from 23 to 
106 /sq. km (Anon 1992). Handasan and Rao ( 1984) have 
classified the vegetation into tropical evergreen forests, 
tropical moist deciduous forests, savannas, and bamboo 
forests. The last two categories are secondary forests 
characterised by abandoned jhum areas. 

The predominant form of land use in the Garo Hills, as 
mentioned earlier, is jhum. Farmers grow rice, cotton, ginger, 
chillies, millets, tapioca and various types of gourds and 
vegetables. Intercropping and sequential harvesting are a 
characteristic feature. The area of each jhum plot ranges 
between 1 and 2.5 ha, depending on the size of the family. 
Jhum agriculture is rainfed and subsistence farming is the 
norm. The farmers return to a site after 5-10 years 
(Ramakrishnan 1 992). The jhum fields may lie as far as 1 .5 to 2 



km from the village and are surrounded either by degraded 
jhum fallows, bamboo forests, older secondary forests or by 
patches of the above forest types. There may be small patches 
of primary forests nearby, mainly along the streams. 

METHODS 

The Forest Department of Meghalaya receives complaints 
of elephant depredation cases and files these reports. All the 
data (N = 23,755 cases), which are computerised for the years 
1984-1993, were used to quantify elephant depredation cases 
that occurred in Meghalaya in general and Garo Hills in particular 
during this period. Each record contained the name of the village, 
the fanner, the crops raided and the compensation claimed/ 
estimated. Besides, elephant post mortem reports and ivory 
records, collected from dead elephants in the field or seized 
from poachers, were obtained from the Wildlife Division Offices 
of the three distr icts. To get a quantitative measure of the 
economic losses due to crop raiding and to evaluate the peoples’ 
attitudes, an intensive survey of 18 affected villages in West 
Garo Hills was conducted in August 1995. The villages (about 
2% of the total villages in the elephant range in this district) 
were chosen randomly. The sub-divisional Government Officer 
in-charge of the division who was responsible for paying 
compensation told us that these 1 8 villages were representative 
of the villages in the area. 

To quantify crop damage, costs were calculated by 
approximating the field damaged to the nearest geometrical 
shape (e.g. rectangle or square) and taking relevant 
measurements to calculate the area of damage. Five to twenty- 
five 1 sq. nr quadrats were laid, depending on the area 
damaged (i.e. 5 size classes <500 sq. m, 500-1000 sq. m, 1000- 
1 500 sq. m, 1 500-2000 sq. m, >2000 sq. m), to determine the 
percentage of clumps (e.g. paddy, since it is planted in clumps) 
or plants (e.g. maize) damaged per unit quadrat area. This 
was extrapolated for the damaged area. Yield per hectare for 
crops like paddy, cotton and ginger were obtained from the 
local agriculture office to calculate the cost of damage. Cost 
of production (i.e. number of man hours spent growing and 
guarding the crops) could not be calculated and therefore 
costs of damage due to raiding are underestimates for 
crops. For houses, huts, and arecanut plantations, the 
initial establishment costs and the number of man days spent 
in constructing the hut, house or raising the plantation 
were ascertained to arrive at the actual cost of damage. 
Wherever possible, the identity of the marauding elephants 
was established by locating tracks and enquiring with the 
villagers who kept watch on their fields from hides built on 
trees. 

The number of families in the villages ranged from 1 3 to 



228 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS 



90 (mean = 38 and S.D. = 21, n= 1 8). As village activities are 
coordinated at the community level, we found it appropriate 
to conduct an informal interview based on a questionnaire 
with the village headman, or in his absence, a village elder, 
about their opinion on the elephant-human conflict. Questions 
were asked about land-use patterns (e.g. are they shifting 
cultivators or permanent cultivators?), compensation scheme 
(e.g. Does the Government pay compensation in time and are 
they satisfied?), preventive measures etc. Hereafter, the term 
“respondents” will be used for the village headman/elder. It 
was not possible to get responses from other villagers due to 
the social set up. Forest cover maps of the Forest Survey of 
India ( 1 :2,50,000), based on satellite imagery, were digitised 
on Unix based GIS software GRASS 4.0 to quantify the area 
of the dense forest (>40% canopy cover) patches in and 
around the villages surveyed. 



RESULTS 

Crop raiding and property losses 

The Garo Hills are an area of high elephant and human 
density (Table 1 ). Between 1 985 and 1993, Garo Hills accounted 
for more than 86% of the depredation cases (Table 1 ) for which 
the Government of Meghalaya paid compensation. Crop damage 
was the main form of elephant-human conflict, and c. 95% of the 
total cases filed to date record damage to crops and households. 

To determine the spatial distribution of the conflict within 
Garo Hills, we analysed the number of depredation cases filed 
between 1993 and 1995. West Garo Hills district which has the 
highest human density is a seriously affected region in the 
area (Fig. 1 ), accounting for 83% of the total cases (Table 2). 
The risk of being raided by elephants in West Garo Hills was 
higher than in other districts (Table 2). Most cases of 




Road, State Border, o — « — - ® International Border, 

o — e — e — o District Boundary, River 



Fig 1 : Map of Garo hills showing Reserve Forests (RF), districts, roads, rivers and important towns 



1 Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



229 



ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS 



Table 1 Estimated population of elephants, approximate human 
population, geographical area, estimated elephant habitat and 
elephant depredations in the three hill ranges of Meghalaya 







Hill range 






Garo 


Khasi 


Jaintia 


Geographical area (sq. km) 


8,167 


10,443 


3,819 


Rural human population 


602,936 


630,138 


198,473 


(No. /sq. km) 


(74) 


(60) 


(52) 


Elephant habitat in sq. km 


3,605 


2,913 


925 


Elephant population 


1,460 


742 


20 


No. of depredation cases 
(1984-93) 


20,576 


3,082 


97 


Percentage of cases 


86.6 


13 


0.4 



Source of information: Anon (1992, 1994), Williams & Johnsingh 
(1996), Tayeng (1981) 



Table 2: Number of crop depredations by elephants, approximate 
number of families, human density, estimated elephant habitat, 
crude elephant densities in the Garo Hills between 1993-95 





South 

Garo 


Districts 

East 

Garo 


West 

Garo 


Crop depredations 


780 


282 


5147 


Human families 


7957 


5150 


21,843 


Human density (No. /sq. km) 


22.9 


36.4 


106.7 


Elephant habitat (sq. km) 


1805 


735 


1065 


Crude elephant densities 
(No. /sq. km) 


0.51 


0.50 


0.16 


Crop depredations / 
100 families / year 


4.90 


2.73 


11.78 



depredations in West Garo Hills district occurred between 
June and December, with high peaks in July and August, and 
a lower peak in November (Fig. 2). These peaks coincided 
with the ripening of paddy in July and August, and availability 
of cotton flower buds in November. 

Thirty-eight reported elephant depredation cases were 
investigated, out of which 28 were found to be authentic and 
78% of the authentic cases were of crop raiding. The area 
damaged per case ranged from about 50 to 5,470 sq. m (Mean 
= 731 .20 and S.D.= 1341 .49, n= 18). Raiding was mainly for 
paddy (41%) and ginger (41%). Other plants damaged were 
cotton (9%), tapioca, maize and pineapple. Paddy, maize and 
tapioca were the plants eaten while ginger, cotton, tapioca 
and pineapple were destroyed due to trampling. Elephants 
also damaged arecanut trees by pushing them down. Out of 
21 cases, where the raiders could be identified by following 
and sizing up footprints, 90% were by female groups with 
calves. Huts in the jhum fields were often destroyed during 
raids. During July and August 1995, nine jhum huts and a 
house were destroyed in the 1 8 sample villages. The estimated 

1000 

800 

in 
01 

<2 600 

o 

o 

6 400 

z 

200 
0 

Fiq. 2: Crop raiding cases registered in West Garo Hills district 
in 1990-1991 




JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC 

Months 



cost of damage per case ranged from Rs. 400/- to Rs. 5,288/- 
(US $ 1 1.7 to 154.6) [mean = Rs. 878.6 (US $ 25.7), S.D. = 
Rs. 1,417.7 (US $ 41 ), n = 29]. There is severe restriction on the 
movements of villagers once the elephants come into the 
vicinity of their villages. 



Elephant related human deaths and injuries 

Seventy-four percent (n=65) of all deaths and 90% 
(n=62) of all injuries caused by elephants in Meghalaya 
between 1984-1995 were recorded in the Garo Hills. West Garo 
Hills consistently recorded the maximum number of elephant 
related injuries and deaths (Table 3). However, the risk of 
death or injury was higher in the South and East Garo Hills 
than in the West Garo Hills (Table 3). Deaths or injuries were 
caused while protecting crops, or during chance encounters 
with elephants on forest trails, or when some bulls turned 
rogues and trampled people in their huts at night. 



Table 3: Human deaths and injuries caused by elephants in the 
three districts of Garo Hills between 1984 and 1995 





South 

Garo 


Districts 

East 

Garo 


West 

Garo 


Deaths / injuries 


13 a 


28 


74 


Approximate human population 
in the elephant areas 


41,370 


26,780 


113,583 


Total deaths or injuries/ 
1000 people/year 


0.1 


0.1 


0.06 



a - South Garo Hills district was created in 1992-93 by dividing West 
Garo Hills district and hence calculations were done only for that 
period 



Table 4: Places where elephant related injury or death occurred 



Place 


Men 


Women 


Village area 


11 


5 


Forest trails 


19 


6 


Protecting crops 


8 


0 


Total 


38 


11 



230 



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ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS 



The exact identity of the elephants responsible for 
deaths and injuries is not available. Where the circumstances 
leading to deaths and injuries caused by elephants between 
1985 to 1995 could be ascertained, it was found that most 
occurred when elephants were encountered accidentally along 
forest trails (Table 4). More men were killed or injured than 
women irrespective of where the death occurred (Table 4). 

Once an elephant is declared a rogue , license to shoot 
it is granted to anyone who is competent to do so. Even after 
the animal has been declared a rogue , efforts to get rid of it 
have not always been successful. Between 1985 and 1994, 
only 3 out of the 7 animals declared rogues could be killed. 

Costs to elephants 

As an alleviation measure for people suffering from 
elephant depredations, hunting licenses to shoot elephants 
used to be issued till 1981 (Gogoi and Choudhury 1982); 
between 1961 and 1981, a total of 226 elephants had been 
shot (Lahiri-Choudhury 1985). However, with passing of the 
Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, capturing was completely 
banned and only a few exceptions have been made. Forty- 
three percent of the elephants (n=32), for whom post mortem 
or ivory records were available, died due to human related 
causes (e.g. speared or shot) between 1984 and December 
1995 (Table 5). 

All the villagers consider elephants as the property of 
the Forest Department. They were aware that shooting 
elephants is an offence and therefore, many of the 
respondents were not willing to answer the question whether 
they shoot at elephants that raid crops. Data shows that they 
do shoot (Table 5). There has been a sharp increase in the 
number of elephants killed in 1 995 as compared to the previous 
years (Table 5). People in possession of ivory from elephants 
poached m Garo Hills have been arrested in the last two years. 
In August 1995, 6 pairs of tusks were seized in Tura, the most 
populous town in Garo Hills. 

Trends of change in land use 

In West Garo Hills, the respondents from 89% of the 
villages ( n= 18) surveyed said that the jhum cycle has been 
decreasing. Eighty-three percent of these villages had a jhum 
cycle of less than 10 years. Most of the respondents (94%) 
concurred with the view that the current level of jhum was 



Table 5: Reported elephant deaths from Garo Hills 



Cause 


1984-93 


1994 


1995 


Unknown 


14 


3 


2 


Speared/shot 


1 


0 


4 


Poached 


0 


1 


7 


Total 


15 


4 


13 



unviable and were willing to try alternate methods of farming 
if proper guidance and support were provided. 

Elephants are also present in the coal and limestone 
deposit rich East and South Garo Hill districts. During this 
study it was noticed that some of these areas were being 
mined for coal on a small scale to check the viability of mining. 
An area of 2 sq. km adjacent to the Rewak Reserve Forest 
(Fig. 1), a crucial elephant corridor in South Garo Hills, has 
been leased out by the villagers managing this area for mining 
limestone on a large scale. This corridor is an important 
passage for elephants and gaur Bos gaums crossing over 
from the Balphakaram National Park in South Garo Hills district 
to the Angratolh Reserve Forest (RF) and Nokrek National 
Park area (Fig. 1 ) and back (Williams and Johnsingh 1997b). 
According to the Forest Department census conducted in 
1 993, this corridor connects a population of about 600 elephants 
on the left bank of River Simsang to about 250 elephants in 
the Nokrek NP-Angratolli RF area (Fig. 1 ). A cement factory 
ancillary to the limestone quarry and a housing settlement for 
the factory workers has also been proposed in and around 
this corridor area. The use of the corridor by elephants would 
then not be possible and the gene flow would stop if the 
above proposal is implemented (Williams and Johnsingh 
1997b). This could result in the elephants trying to cross 
through alternate routes, which are heavily populated, 
resulting in increased incidents of elephant-human conflict. 

Mitigation measures 

Compensation: A total ofRs. 12,130,805 (US $ 391,300) 
was paid as compensation for elephant depredations on crop 
and property in Meghalaya between 1985 and 1993. When a 
compensation claim is filed, the Forest Department staff is 
required to inspect and assess the damage. Due to shortage 
of manpower and logistical problems, the process is time 
consuming. The claims for the year 1993 were yet to be settled 
in 1995. If a person was killed outside the land controlled by 
the Forest Department, compensation amounting to Rs 1 0,000 
(US $ 330) was paid. Various amounts were paid depending 
on the severity of the injuries. A total of Rs. 5,96,400 (US $ 
19,200) was paid as compensation for the loss of lives and 
injuries between 1 984-85 and 1 992-93 . No compensation was 
paid in cases when the death or injury occurred inside Forest 
Department controlled forests. 

Of the 18 villages surveyed, only 15 had received 
compensation for elephant depredation between 1984 and 
1993 at least once. The respondents in all the villages (n=18) 
were unhappy with the compensation scheme. The scheme is 
also open to abuse as 26% of the reported depredation cases 
(n=38) checked were found to be false. Only one out of the 
fifteen villages, where compensation had been paid earlier. 



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ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS 



wanted continuance of the scheme as a mitigation measure in 
its present form. 

Preventive measures: The methods used to ward off 
elephant raids were similar in all parts of Garo Hills. Shouting, 
beating tins, and brandishing burning torches were commonly 
used. Villagers said firing gun shots over the heads of the 
elephants only resulted in their retreating for a short distance, 
or in some cases had no effect. 

Eighty-nine percent of the respondents said that the 
number of elephants has increased noticeably. When asked 
for a reason for the apparent increase, 44% of the respondents 
blamed stopping of elephant capture. Till 1981-82, the Forest 
Department of Meghalaya used to capture elephants from 
different elephant areas of the state. A total of 1 ,298 elephants 
were captured in Meghalaya between 1960 and 198 1 (Lahiri- 
Choudhury 1985) by the traditional mela shikar method. 

Asked for their opinion on mitigating elephant-human 
conflict, 28% of the respondents wanted elephants to be 
removed from their area. Other suggestions were paying 
compensation ( 16%) and electric fencing of their land by the 
Government (16%). The rest were unsure and wanted the 
Forest Department to take action to reduce crop depredations. 
All the respondents were eager to try any method that might 
reduce their losses. 

DISCUSSION 

Elephant-human conflict is fast emerging as an 
important issue in the Garo Hills, especially in the West Garo 
Hills district. Most of the conflict is due to crop raiding. An 
average of 1 1.74% families are affected in West Garo Hills 
every year (Table 2). The estimated total cost of damage 
caused by elephants for the 28 authentic cases was Rs. 24,600 
(US $ 683) or Rs. 880 (US $ 24) per case. This means that the 
affected families lose about 8% of their annual income, which 
is about Rs. 11,000 (US $ 305). The damage caused is 
comparable to the results obtained by Sukumar (1991) who 
reported that the cost of elephant depredations was US $ 2 1 
per family, and the total damage caused by 200 to 250 
elephants amounted to US $ 1 8,960. In another study on crop 
raiding patterns in central India, the total damage caused to 
10 large villages by about 65 elephants was estimated to be 
around US $ 5,000 (Datye and Bhagwat 1995). In West Garo 
Hills, on an average, 2000 cases are reported every year. 
If 75% of these cases are true, the total damage caused 
by a population of 160 elephants is around Rs. 13,17,000 
(US $ 36,000) per annum. 

Several reasons have been given to explain crop raiding 
(McKay 1973; Olivier 1978; Sukumar and Gadgil 1988; 
Santiapillai and Widodo 1993). Fields that have highly 



nutritious crop would attract elephants living in patchy and 
degraded environments. The West Garo Hills have various 
sizes of secondary and primary forests, in various stages of 
degradation, scattered with jhum fields. A few valleys have 
permanent cultivation. Patches of forest, classified as dense 
forest (see methods), in and around the surveyed villages, 
ranged from 1.12-16.26 sq. km (mean = 5.62 sq. km). The 
smallest known home range of an Asian elephant bull is 
32 sq. km (Olivier 1978) and that of a female group is 34 sq. km 
(Joshua and Johnsingh 1995), and it is unrealistic to expect 
the small patches in West Garo Hills to provide elephants all 
their ecological requirements. Therefore, they are forced to 
move from one patch to another. During such ranging the 
newly created jhum fields in the vicinity with extremely 
palatable and nutritious crops are raided. This was noticed in 
another study on elephant-human conflict in southern India 
(Nath and Sukumar 1998). Female groups with calves and 
juveniles tend to avoid areas with high risks, like being fired 
at or chased with fire torches. The fact that a number of raids 
on jhum fields were carried out by groups indicates that the 
risks here are possibly low. 

For preventive measures, like electric fencing or 
trenching, to be effective, it is important to understand which 
areas are raided and why certain crop fields are raided more 
than others. Crop fields near traditional routes may be raided 
more often than other fields. Therefore, a study using radio 
telemetry to understand how elephants find resources to 
survive in an environment that can change dramatically every 
one or two years due to jhum, has to be taken up immediately. 
It may be possible to predict elephant movements (Ekobo 
1 997) and therefore vulnerability of the various crop fields to 
raiding by elephants. Electric fencing may work in areas of 
permanent settled agriculture as in Zimbabwe (Taylor 1993), 
but not in areas of shifting agriculture. Therefore, the 
management should work to wean away the tnbals from jhum. 

In Meghalaya, the human population has undergone 
an eleven-fold increase between 1881 and 1991 (Tayeng 1981; 
Anon 1992). Ramakrishnan (1992) states that a jhum cycle of 
at least 10 years is considered necessary for the jhum to be 
viable economically and energetically. This can happen only 
when the human population density remains low. The current 
high human densities in West Garo Hills (Table 2) have already 
shortened the jhum cycle to less than 10 years. If the human 
population continues to grow at the current rate ( c . 3.2% per 
year), elephant-human conflict is bound to increase. Elephant 
conservation may finally depend on how effectively we curb 
the growth of the human population and its dependence on 
jhum agriculture, which lies outside the scope of wildlife 
management agencies. An integrated approach, involving the 
local administration and non-governmental organisations 



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ELEPHANT-HUMAN CONFLICT ON COMMUNITY LANDS IN GARO HILLS 



(NGOs) is required for conservation efforts to be successful. 
These agencies should introduce alternate sources of 
livelihood like piggery, small pond fisheries and bee keeping, 
and family planning education. Otherwise, as Hoare (1998) 
predicts, the threshold of land cover transformation will be 
reached, resulting in the disappearance of the elephants from 
their natural habitat. 

Many lives are lost while protecting crops or property 
from elephants. More men are killed than women, as men 
encounter elephants more often in their day-to-day life. This 
was also observed in other elephant-human conflict areas in 
south and central India (Sukunrar 1991; Datye and Bhagwat 
1995). When a bull turns into a rogue, killing and damage to 
property rapidly increases in its range. A general fear 
psychosis builds up among the villagers when a rogue 
wanders around in the vicinity of the village. Due to logistical 
and bureaucratic delays, it takes time for a rogue to be 
identified, declared a rogue and shot. This results in further 
loss of lives and property. Decentralisation of this process 
with the involvement of the local Divisional Forest Officer 
may help to speed up the process of eliminating the rogue. 

Compensation raises the tolerance threshold of affected 
people for species like elephants that can cause huge 
economic damage (Tchamba 1995, 1996). The compensation 
scheme was put into practice without proper planning and 
logistical support. The forest department lacks adequate staff 
to verify the claims. Therefore, some people are misusing the 
scheme by filing false claims. The scheme is also tied up in 
bureaucratic delays, and payment for verified claims is delayed 
for years. It is not surprising, therefore, that there is 
widespread dissatisfaction among the villagers, both with 
the amounts paid and the delays in the scheme. Nevertheless, 
a limited investigation showed that a number of genuine 
compensation claims (approx. 74% of the cases) are filed every 
year, illustrating the ineffectiveness of the deterrence methods 
in use. There is no one fool-proof method of preventing 
elephant depredations (Thouless and Sakwa 1995) and the 
best option may be to try different methods. Elephant capture 
can help to control the problem and it should be resorted to in 
places with severe crop depredations. 

It is likely that in an industrially backward state like 
Meghalaya with low per capita many more areas will be taken 
up for mining limestone and coal. A few of these areas 
constitute some of the best elephant habitats or they lie in 
crucial corridor areas. Elephant-human conflict therefore is 
bound to increase as economic interests dictate the 
exploitation of these areas. It is still possible for the 
government to acquire large tracts of land as the price of land 
(c. US $ 7000/sq. km) is relatively low. Therefore, funds will 
have to be raised to acquire crucial areas like corridors or 



primary elephant habitat which lie in these mineral rich zones. 

Until recently, very few cases of elephants killed by 
humans were reported. But the spurt in elephant deaths, 
between January and December 1995, due to humans, and the 
ivory seizures indicated that the situation could worsen if not 
tackled immediately. Till 1 995, most of the deaths were due to 
gunshot or spear wounds received while crop raiding. 
However, since 1995 most of the elephants killed have been 
tuskers, and ivory seizures also indicate increase in poaching. 
Menon et al. (1997) reported that there exists a sizeable 
underground trade in elephant meat and a few seizures of 
processed elephant meat points to the worrying conclusion 
that even a female may not be spared if she gets out of control. 
One of the main problems in Garo Hills is the lack of manpower 
and money to carry out effective conservation of elephants 
on community lands. It may be a cheaper and more beneficial 
long term management solution to concentrate efforts in 
closing down the trade in elephant meat. 

The problem of elephant-human conflict is assuming 
serious proportions in Garo Hills. Most people express 
dissatisfaction over the efforts taken by the Government to 
solve the problem. For Meghalaya, a modest goal of reducing 
elephant depredation by 20% to 30% in the next three to four 
years would do much to convince the people about the efforts 
taken by the Government to control the problem (Williams and 
Johnsingh 1997a, b, c). The Garo Hills elephant population is 
one of the two populations in northeast India, which seem to 
have the minimum numbers to be viable in the long ran. The 
elephants in northeast India have been genetically isolated from 
the other elephant populations in India for a long time. Hrerefore, 
from a conservation point of view, they are most important. The 
lessons we learn in Meghalaya, in the process of reducing costs 
to both elephants and humans, are going to prove invaluable 
for conservation in India and elsewhere in Southeast Asia and 
Africa where the land use patterns are similar. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

This project was conducted by the Wildlife Institute of 
India (WII) for Project Elephant. We thank the Directors of 
WII and Project Elephant for the support extended to 
successfully complete the project. Our sincere thanks to 
Mr. Balwinder Singh, Mr. S.B. Singh, Mr. Tony Marak and 
other officers and staff of the Meghalaya Forest Department 
for support during the survey. We thank Wesley for helping 
design the crop damage assessment methodology and Ratna 
Singh for help with analysis of the crop damage database. We 
thank Charudutt Mishra, M.D. Madhusudanan, Nirna 
Manjrekar, Ravi Chellam and T.R. Shankar Raman for 
commenting on the manuscript. 



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Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



235-243 



KEMMANGUNDI REVISITED: NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED 
AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS, KARNATAKA, SOUTH INDIA 1 

S. Thejaswi 2 

'Accepted December 2002 

‘639, “Sibia House”, 1 6th Cross, ‘B’ Block, Vijayanagar 3rd Stage, Mysore 570 017, Karnataka, India. 

Email: dumaketu@rediffmail.com 

Kemmangundi, a popular hill station in the central Western Ghats, was visited for seven days in May 2002 to survey 
the birdlife in the surrounding s/zo/a-grassland mosaic. Several threatened species endemic to the Western Ghats, such as 
Brachypteryx major, Schoenicola platyara and Columba elphinstonii were among the 97 species of birds recorded. The 
significance of several observations lies in the fact that the birdlife of the central Western Ghats has not been thoroughly 
investigated except for a few studies conducted intermittently over the past seventy years, a fact that needs to be 
urgently addressed. 

Key words: Western Ghats, Kemmangundi, Brachypteryx major, Schoenicola platyura 



The present note is a discussion on birds observed by 
me at the Bababudan hills on a visit from May 21-27, 2002, 
and a comparison with birds noted and collected by Salim All 
during his stay at Kemmangundi from January 19-24, 1940 
(All 1942a-c, 1943a, b). Comparisons of resident birds recorded 
in the two surveys, with emphasis on Western Ghats endemics, 
reveal that a few species have retained or even improved 
their status since the 1940s, while a few others, especially 
grassland dependent species, have become rare. The avifauna 
of the central Western Ghats in Karnataka has not been well 
documented except in Kodagu (Coorg) (Betts 1929a, b; Betts 
1951). Previous records of birds from Kemmangundi, like the 
White-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx major and Nilgin 
Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudata were the only records of 
the species north of Kodagu for long ( Ali 1 942b). Records of 
the Jerdon’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni , Mountain Hawk-Eagle 
Spizaetus nipalensis , Ceylon Frogmouth Batrachostomus 
moniliger , Grass Owl Tyto capensis , Broad-tailed Grass- 
Warbler Schoenicola platyura from the Karnataka Western 
Ghats have been few. This paper clarifies the status of these 
birds in the Bababudan Hills. 

The Bababudan Hills are a horse-shoe shaped range of 
high ridges located in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka 
between 13° 23'- 13° 35’ N and 75° 37’-75° 52' E. The hills, an 
eastern off-shoot of the Western Ghats, run with a valley in 
the centre of the horse-shoe known as the Jagara valley 
(600 m) facing northwest; and have an average height of 1 ,400 
m, reaching a maximum of 1 .925 m ( 6,3 1 7 ft) at Mulaianagiri, 
the highest peak in Karnataka. The ridges are narrow and 
steep, with cascading cliffs on the outer end of the horse- 
shoe and interrupted by undulating hills on the inner side, 
covered by grassland on the slopes and luxuriant sholas, wet 
temperate montane evergreen forests, in the ravines between 
hills (Saldanha 1984). 



Kemmangundi (13° 33' N, 75° 45' E) is a small, pleasant 
hill station established in 1932 by the Maharaja of Mysore, 
Krishanarajendra Wodeyar IV on the northeastern end of the 
hill range. At 1,434 m (4,702 ft), it is located by an abandoned 
open-cast iron mine. Kemmangundi in Kannada translates as 
‘red soil pit’ (Kemmannu = red soil, gundi = pit), referring to 
the soil colour in the mining pit, as well as the surroundings. 
Mining for iron ore continues on a small scale on nearby 
hillsides. Large, dense sholas surround the place and these, 
along with a few neighbouring ones, are the more intact ones 
left on the range. Kemmangundi served as a base camp for Salim 
Ali in 1 940, when he visited the Bababudan hills while surveying 
the birds of the erstwhile princely Mysore State (Ali 1942a). 

The Bhadra Tiger Reserve covers 451.7 sq km of 
predominantly tropical moist mixed deciduous forest, with 
smaller areas under tropical dry deciduous, semi-evergreen 
forests mostly in the Jagara valley, montane wet temperate 
evergreen forests or sholas and montane grasslands in parts 
of the hill range. A few remnant patches of lowland evergreen 
forest occur on the southeastern fringes of the reserve in the 
Jagara valley. 

METHODS 

Observations were made along selected paths through 
sholas and grasslands at Kemmangundi, the adjacent Bhadra 
Tiger Reserve and remnants of lowland evergreen forest in 
the Jagara valley. The paths were selected so as to cover both 
pure shola stretches and grassland, and the interface between 
the two. Monitoring of paths was done in the morning between 
0600 and 0900 hrs and in the evenings between 1630 and 
1830 hrs. Observations were conducted intermittently 
throughout the day from May 22-24, and for the whole day on 
May 21 and 25-27. Night transect was conducted twice for 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



nocturnal birds. Elevations between 800 m and 1 ,700 m were 
covered. 

OBSERVATIONS 

A total of 97 species of birds were observed in seven 
days. Twelve of the sixteen species found only in the Western 
Ghats Endemic Bird Area were recorded ( Jhunjhunwala etal. 
200 1 ). Significant sightings include those of the Jerdon's Baza 
Avicedajerdoni, Mountain Elawk-Eagle Spizaetus nipalensis , 
Grass Owl Tyto capensis , Ceylon Frogmouth Batrcichostomus 
moniliger, Blue-eared Kingfisher A Icedo meninting, Wynaad 
Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti , Grey-breasted 
Laughingthrush Garrulax jerdoni , Broad-tailed Grass- 
Warbler Schoenicola platyura , all new records for the 
Bababudans and for the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Confirmed breeding of the Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon 
Columba elphinstonii. Speckled Piculet Picumnus 
innominatus. Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus. 
Yellow-browed Bulbul lole indica, Indian Scimitar-Babbler 
Pomatorhinus horsfieldii, Malabar Whistling-Thrush 
Myiophonus horsfieldii , Eurasian Blackbird Tardus merula, 
Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudata , White-bellied Blue- 
Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes and Brown Rock Pipit Anthus 
similis was observed. 

An asterisk (*) after the common name indicates a 
Western Ghats endemic. SA refers to Salim All. Status of 
threatened and near threatened species follows BirdLife 
International (200 1 ). Botanical identification and nomenclature 
follows Gamble ( 1 956) and Saldanha ( 1 984, 1 996). The standard 
common and scientific names follow Manakadan and Pittie 
( 2001 ) 

Globally Threatened Species 

Indian White-backed Vulture ( Gyps benghalensis): 

Critical. Repeated sightings of single birds soaring near 
Kemmangundi. Not recorded by SA. 

Long-billed Vulture ( Gyps indicus ): Critical. One 
sighting of ten birds, all adults, soaring with thermals on 
May 22 near Kemmangundi. Not recorded by SA. 

Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon* ( Columba elphinstonii ) : 
Vulnerable. Common in sholas and partial to Syzigium 
wightianum and S. operculatum trees that were fruiting in 
abundance everywhere (see Appendix 1). Individuals were 
observed indulging in acrobatics like Green-Pigeons to get to 
the drupes of their choice, usually the ripest one in the bunch, 
several seen in action - clinging upside down on branches 
and balancing with outspread wings and tail. Very vocal; one 
of the commonly uttered calls was a fast ‘ ku-kuu immediately 
ending in an abrupt 'ku\ Variations of the same, with varying 



numbers of the first note also heard occasionally. Another 
call noted was a deep ‘ wah-kwoo-woo’. These were in addition 
to the usual langur-like deep ‘who’s. The bird was observed 
and collected by SA at Kemmangundi and noted to be “fairly 
common” (Ali 1943a). 

A nest was observed on May 23 in a shallow fork on a 
thickly foliaged Apodytes dimidiata tree c. 8 m from the 
ground, along a stream in the Shankara shola. The nest was a 
clumsy platform of twigs and had a single white egg under 
incubation. 

White-bellied Shortwing* (Brachypteryx major). 

Vulnerable. The race major is resident, fairly frequent only in 
sholas above c. 1,300 m. Observed after a period of sixty 
years at Kemmangundi. Observers after Ali (1942b), if any, 
probably missed it due to its retiring habits, or because they 
did not spend enough time looking for it. Easily seen in 
twilight, with the aid of a torch or jeep headlights, along roads 
when they come out of the sholas to feed. In flight noisy for 
its size, perhaps because of its small wings and fairly rapid 
wing beat. Easily seen in ravines, in leaf litter under thickets 
along streams, and near bridges over streams in the sholas. It 
can also be observed at the Kudremukh National Park, 
Kumaraparvata Peak in the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, 
Brahmagin hills under the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, both 
in Kodagu district; and the Kodachadri Peak in the 
Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary across Udupi and Shimoga 
districts, which is perhaps the northern limit for the species 
(pers. obs.). Specimens collected by SA from Kemmangundi 
(Ali 1942b) and noted as “Frequent, but not common in 
accustomed facies.” Birds can be seen even in the most 
isolated, small patches of shola, one of which was hardly 3- 
4.5 mate. 1,600 m! 

Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler* (Schoenicola platyura). 

A new record for the Bababudans and a significant one for a 
Vulnerable species (BirdLife International 200 1 ). Encountered 
thrice in the span of a week, twice above Kemmangundi on 
May 23 and 24 in Chrysopogon-Andropogon grassland and 
Strobilanthes thickets and once at Mulaianagiri on May 26 
in grassland The bird observed at Kemmangundi early 
(0630 hrs) on May 24 was calling out loud from the top of a 
grass clump, with its head facing the sky, a sweet 'pseit’ 
continuously seven to eight times, ending in ‘ chrr ’, 'chut’ or 
loud ‘chit’. The other birds were seen when accidentally 
flushed and then followed in the grassland for quite a distance; 
a difficult species to observe due to its skulking habits. Not 
noted by SA. 

Globally Near-Threatened Species 

Malabar Pied Hornbill ( Anthracoceros coronatus ): 

One sighting of a flock of five on May 27, at the foothills 



236 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



c. 700 m, feeding on a large fruiting Ficus arnottianci tree in a 
coffee plantation. This species, along with the next, are 
probably rare in the Bhadra Tiger Reserve and declining 
throughout its range. Not recorded by SA. 

Great Pied Hornbill ( Buceros bicornis ): One 
spectacular and memorable sighting of seven birds swooping 
down the Hebbe waterfalls (9 km from Kemmangundi) in 
succession, plummeting from c. 121 m ( 400 ft) to a large fruiting 
Ficus beddomei in tall evergreen riparian forest on May 24. 
Not recorded by SA. 

Grey-breasted Laughingthrush* ( Garrulax jerdoni ): 

A new record for the Bababudans and for the central 
Karnataka Western Ghats. This record bridges the 
distribution gap between Goa (Rane 1984) and Coorg (All 
and Ripley 1987). Uncommon in three sholas , all large and 
contiguous with each other, status elsewhere unknown; 
found only above 1,100 m. Bands of up to eight birds noted 
frequenting clumps of fruiting Rubus fockei\ one flock of 
four seen on May 24 at 900 m on the roadside beside a coffee 
estate, feeding on fruits of the Mulberry, Morns alba. I have 
also observed the species at the Kudremukh National Park 
in early March 2002. 

Nilgiri Flycatcher* ( Eumyias albicaudata) Fairly 
common resident in sholas above 1 ,300 m. Breeding noted at 
Kemmangundi, four nests with nearly fledged chicks and one 
with three eggs under incubation were observed in the Shanti 
waterfalls shola. Nests were of moss, all placed in tree fissures 
or cavities 3-6 m from the ground. Fledged chicks that have 
left the nest were observed, some still being fed by the parents. 
Song given by Kazmierczak (2000) as “ chee-chew chewy chi- 
chwee chwee choo chi-choo chee" is slightly different for all 
birds heard in the Bababudans; the song here was almost 
identical in the first seven notes but was longer and had a few 
extra notes in the end “ chee-chew chewy chi-chwee chwee- 
chee, choe chi-choe choe chee choe-chee ” and a refrain, 
“ chee-chew chewy choe-chi choe-chi ” that was repeated two 
to three times after the initial song, with a couple of 'chee' s 
one way or another. A threatened bird in these hills with a 
very limited range in shola forest above 1 ,300 m. A few large 
sholas around Kemmangundi and m the Bhadra Tiger Reserve 
are the only strongholds left relatively intact. It was not seen 
in plantations, whereas it is commonly seen in plantations in 
the Nilgiris (Ashfaq Ahmed Zarri, pers. comm ). Collected 
and noted by SA at Kemmangundi (All 1942b). 

Notes on Selected Species 

Jerdon’s Baza (Aviceda jerdoni). Four birds were 
observed on May 24, in a large shola located in the Bhadra 
Tiger Reserve, beside a stream at c. 1,000 m and 4 km from 
Kemmangundi on the road to Chikmagalur. The birds, all 



adults, were readily identified by their gregarious habit; a 
thin, white-tipped, clear upright crest; rufous head streaked 
black, more so on the nape; a clear, thin black mesial stripe; 
underpails clearly and broadly barred rufous; tail barred black 
with terminal white tip. In flight, it was observed to be different 
from the Crested Goshawk ( Accipiter trivirgatus ), which has 
incidentally also been recorded, in having distinct black tips 
to the primaries, which the Goshawk lacks. The Mountain 
Flawk-Eagle (Spizaetus nipalensis ), another bird with which 
the Baza could be confused is much larger and with a crest 
not pointing upwards in normal situations. Also, the 
underwing coverts are uniformly rufous-buff in flight, whereas 
in the Baza it is thinly barred rufous. The birds were located 
on successive days. May 25 and 26, in the same shola , but a 
few hundred metres downstream of the earlier sighting. One 
bird was observed consuming a small, dark rufous-brown 
squirrel. No calls heard. 

The Jerdon’s Baza is a rare resident in southwest 
India, although more common in parts of northeast India, 
preferring foothills with evergreen forest between c. 1 2° N in 
western Karnataka, and Kerala (All and Ripley 1987). There 
are very few actual records of the bird from the Western 
Ghats, with Kazmierczak (2000) able to trace only four from 
the Western Ghats, and one from Karnataka. Recent records 
of the bird have mostly been from Kerala. This record, after a 
long time in Karnataka, is significant, as extensive tracts of 
ecologically suitable evergreen forest in the Western Ghats 
of Karnataka remain under-surveyed, or even unsurveyed, 
for birds. The bird could thus be expected to occur in 
evergreen forests of the Shiradi, Charmadi and Agumbe Ghats 
of Dakshina Kannada, Hassan, Shimoga districts; and in the 
Uttara Kannada district. Not recorded by SA in his Mysore 
survey. 

Short-toed Snake-Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) . A single 
sighting of a soaring adult on May 22 above Kemmangundi 
c. 1,500 m. The “cumbrous and ungainly hovering” against 
winds (Ali 1996) of 60-70 kmph, was noted over grassland 
close to the ‘Z-point’, the extreme eastern end of the hill range 
and about 1 .5 km from Kemmangundi. The bird is uncommon 
at this altitude in south India and probably rose with thermals. 
Not recorded by SA. 

Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus). One bird 

observed from above, gliding over the Shankara shola at 
Kemmangundi on May 21 and alighting on a Schefflera 
rostrata tree. Not recorded by SA. 

Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii): One bird 
seen perched at a ‘vantage point’, on a fruiting Svzigium 
operculatum tree overlooking the large Shankara shola , 
everyday between May 21 and 24. Not recorded by SA but 
noted by one observer earlier ( Shyamal 1 993 ). 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



237 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



Mountain Hawk-Eagle ( Spizaetus nipalensis): Rare 
resident 0 One bird seen in flight over the Shankara shola on 
May 22 and 23. It was first seen alighting on a Eucalyptus tree 
close to the tourist complex at Kenrmangundi. Not noted by SA. 

Mountain Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula badia). A single 
flock of six birds feeding on Ficus glomerata figs near the 
Potato Research Station of the Horticulture Department at 
Kemmangundi on May 22. Not noted by SA. 

Grass Owl (Tyto capensis ): Another first record for 
the Bababudans, and a northern extension of the bird's range 
in the Western Ghats; being previously known up to the 
Brahmagiris in Kodagu (Coorg) (All and Ripley 1987). Two 
birds flushed from a depression in tall, dry Chrysopogon 
grassland bordered by Strobilanthes clumps on May 24 in 
the Bhadra Tiger Reserve. The birds soon settled a couple of 
hundred metres away in the grassland and were wary of 
approach, either running away or flying a short distance 
before settling in the grass. 

1 have also observed a lone bird at night (2030 Ins) near 
the Kerekatte forest rest house in the Kudremukh National 
Park in early March 2002, feeding on a rodent. 

Brown Wood-Owl (Strix leptogrammica): One freshly 
dead bird was found at Kemmangundi on May 24. 
Measurements: Wing 325 mm. Bill (from skull) 45 mm. Tarsus 
56 mm. Tail 195 mm. Plumage appeared much worn with no 
signs of moult either in wing or tail. Cause of death not 
apparent, probably natural. Also heard twice during night 
transect through Shankara shola. Not noted by SA. 

Ceylon Frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger ): A 
first record from the Bhadra Tiger Reserve on the Bababudans, 
and a significant one as it is from the intervening country 
between the northern recorded limits — Radhanagari Wildlife 
Sanctuary in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra (Gin 2001), 
Uttara Kannada district (North Kanara) in Karnataka (Borges 
1986, Daniels 1984) and southern Innits in Tamil Nadu - Kerala 
(All and Ripley 1987; Gaston and Zacharias 1996; Kannan 
1993; Sugathan 1981). Three birds, two males and a female, 
were noted roosting 5 m from the ground, on bamboo thickets 
by a stream in thick shola on May 25. They were encountered 
by chance when following a Grey-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus 
priocephalus through the bamboo. The birds were inactive, 
but became alert when the bamboo was accidentally disturbed 
on close approach. They were noted in the same spot again 
on May 26 and 27. 

Blue-eared Kingfisher ( Alcedo meninting ): Two 
sightings of single birds of this uncommon species; one by a 
stream in the Shankara shola at c. 1 ,000 m and the other by a 
large pool of water at the foot of the 137 m (450 feet) high 
Hebbe falls located in the midst of evergreen forest and a 
coffee estate. Not noted by SA. 



Great Black Woodpecker ( Dryocopus javensis ): 
Uncommon. A single sighting ol an individual drumming away 
high on a tall Dipterocarpus tree in riparian evergreen forest 
on May 24. A female collected by SA from the Jagara Valley 
(All 1942c). This species is common in the mature moist 
deciduous forests of the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, which is a 
haven for woodpeckers. 

Indian Pitta ( Pitta hrachyura) Status equivocal. A 
single sighting of a bird calling on a tree c. 10m above ground, 
persisting for around twenty minutes at 0630 hrs on May 23 
near the guest house at Kemmangundi. Calls heard repeatedly 
after this sighting. Baker and Inglis (1930) on the breeding 
season of the Pitta state, “It is said to breed during the rains 
in Kanara, but I have not had the good fortune to find a nest.” 

Malabar Crested Lark (Galerida malabarica): Rare. 
Two sightings on hill summits, one at Kemmangundi of four 
birds (c. 1,500 m) and the other at Mulaianagiri (c. 1,900 m) of 
a single bird. All (1942c) notes “Fairly common. Met with 
small parties and loose scattered flocks of up to 30 birds or 
so, on grass-covered hill slopes with outcrops of sheet rock.” 
A male was collected by SA at above Kemmangundi (Ah 
1942c). This bird was not seen, despite a lookout for it on the 
Kemmangundi-Chikmagalur road that runs 40 km, covering a 
major portion of the range at the tops; but it could be more 
common than apparent and has certainly seen a decline over 
the years. 

Grey-headed Bulbul* (Pycnonotus priocephalus). 

Uncommon, possibly overlooked. A denizen of the deepest 
sholas , with a preference for stream-side vegetation, also 
bamboo in lower elevations. This species has been noted 
from riverine vegetation in the moist deciduous forests at 
Muthodi in the Bhadra Tiger Reserve but rare at that location 
(S. Karthikeyan pers. comm.. Author's pers. obs.). Noted by 
SA in the Jagara Valley (Ah 1942b). 

Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus 
gularis). Uncommon in shola edges and disturbed areas, 
thickets of Rubus fockei, while Lantana is a favourite in lower 
elevations and coffee plantations, often in mixed flocks. Not 
recorded by SA. 

Scaly Thrush (Zoothera daunta): Rare, perhaps 
overlooked, resident, heard more often than seen. Three 
sightings at Kemmangundi, deep in the Shankara shola. Calls 
heard sometimes close to road, also heard in neighbouring sholas. 
Not recorded by SA and a new record for the Bababudans. 
Also occurs in the Kudremukh National Park (pers. obs.). 

Wynaad Laughingthrush* (Garrulax delesserti): 
Recorded only once on May 25 in the same shola as the 
Jerdon’s Baza, a flock of around eight birds keeping to the 
thick undercover in a mixed party of Indian Scimitar, Indian 
Rufous and Black-headed Babblers, Grey-headed Flycatcher, 



238 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



Black-crested Bulbul, Large Wood-Shnke and Greater Golden- 
backed Woodpecker. Loud, discordant cackling in unison, 
on alarm. Not recorded by SA and a first record for the 
Bababudans where populations are probably small and 
isolated due to degradation of intervening habitats. Occurs 
m and around the Kudremukh National Park (pers. obs .; 
Ahmed and Bhat 2001a, b), Agumbe (Ah 1942b), around Jog 
Falls, Charmadi Ghat, Sampaje Ghat, Kumaraparvata mountain 
in the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Brahmagiri Wildlife 
Sanctuary and adjoining reserve forests and Kemphole State 
Forest on the Shiradi Ghat where it is particularly common. 

Rufous-bellied Babbler (Dumetia hyperythra ): 
Resident at Kemmangundi, restricted to gardens near the guest 
houses, the horticulture department rock garden, disturbed 
areas of thickets and undergrowth bordering plantations; 
never in sholas where it is replaced by the Black-headed 
Babbler, Rhopocichla atriceps (pers. obs .; Ali 1942b). 

Indian Rufous Babbler* ( Turdoides subrufus) : Resident, 
not common but frequent in undergrowth of Cinnamomeum , 
also disturbed areas bordering sholas: often in small parties of 
three to four birds, very shy. Not noted by SA. 

Golden-headed Fantail-Warbler (Cisticola exilis ): Rare 
resident on grassy hilltops above Kemmangundi, at 
Mulaianagiri and Bababudanagiri. A few birds also observed 
in Strobilanthes thickets between sholas and grassland. 
Collected by SA from various points in grasslands and noted 
as common for the entire hill range (All 1942c). 

White-bellied Blue-Flycatcher* (Cyornis pallipes ): 
Common resident in sholas, thick evergreen forest and riverine 
bamboo forest from c. 800 m to the highest elevations, but 
generally less common above 1,400 m. Nest building in 
progress m a tree fissure c. 2 nr from the ground in the Shankara 
shola , beside a road. Female was observed to contribute most 
to nest building, collecting moss from nearby branches of trees, 
as well as arranging the material in cup fomr. Otherwise seen 
singly m sholas , even disturbed areas bordering sholas , hawking 
insects from telegraph wires; also coffee estates bordering 
sholas. The male sings a sweet early morning song, on 
awakening: “chi~chi-chi-chi-chi-chwai-chwai-chwai'\ ending 
on a somewhat questioning note. SA collected the bird from 
Kemmangundi and noted it as “fauiy common” (Ali 1 942b). 

Black-throated Munia ( Lonchura kelaarti ): Common 
resident on the lower slopes, in disturbed areas and about 
cultivation. Once a flock of ten at the Potato Research Station 
of the Horticulture Department at Kemmangundi. Also 
common m the lower reaches of the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. 
A range extension for the species, not previously documented 
from areas north ofKodagu district (Ali and Ripley 1987), but 
is now known to be common but patchy all along the Western 
Ghats in Karnataka; in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, 



Hassan, Chikmagalur, Udupi, Shimoga and Belgaum districts 
(pers. obs.: S. Karthikeyan pers. comm.: J.N. Prasad pers. 
comm.: Anand Prasad pers. comm.). Not noted by SA. 

White-bellied Tree-pie* (Dendrocitta leucogastra). 
Resident, common in mixed parties in sholas , tall evergreen 
forests on lower slopes and coffee plantations with good tree 
cover, bordering sholas. Noted by SA on the Bababudans 
(All 1942a). 

DISCUSSION 

Salim Ali recorded sixty-nine species of birds, including 
thirteen winter visitors, at the Bababudan lulls in January 
1940. In this survey, in May 2002, ninety-seven species of 
birds were observed, not including winter visitors. Forty-three 
species were added to the bud list of Ali ( 1 942-43 ) and Shyamal 
( 1 993 ) { see Appendix 2 j . 

Threats to Endemic Bird Habitats 

Sholas. Sholas have been denuded to a great extent in 
these hills, being replaced by coffee and eucalyptus 
plantations. The extant area under relatively intact shola cover 
lies within the Bhadra Tiger Reserve, towards the western 
end of the ridge. Iron mining is a threat in certain areas, with 
loose soil being exposed by the open cast method; erosion 
and landslides become inevitable during the monsoon. These 
sholas are the birthplace of the river Vedavati, one of the 
tributaries of the Krishna. 

Shola specific species like the White-bellied Shortwing 
and Nilgiri Flycatcher will face the impact of the denudation 
of sholas (Maheshwaran 2001 ). 

Grasslands: Grasslands are also imperiled, being 
targeted by the Forest Department for Eucalyptus and Aloe 
plantation programmes under the wasteland development and 
afforestation schemes of the Karnataka government. Mining 
is a greater threat to grasslands than to sholas , as it is primarily 
the hilltops that are dug out for ore. Deep fissures on the hill- 
side being mined reveal the importance of grass cover in 
holding the soil together. Grasslands in the Bhadra Tiger 
Reserve are particularly in danger of being planted over. 
Rahmani (1992) points out that grasslands are insufficiently 
represented in the protected areas of the Indian subcontinent, 
and this needs to be urgently addressed. 

Species like the Grass Owl, Malabar Crested Lark, 
Brown Rock Pipit, Gold-headed Fantail-Warbler and Broad- 
tailed Grass- Warbler found only in grasslands will be severely 
affected (Maheshwaran 2001 ). 

A detailed survey of the avifauna of the central Western 
Ghats in Karnataka has to be taken up at the earliest to update 
our knowledge of the birds of the Western Ghats as there 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



239 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



have been only a handful of studies in the area (Chakravarthy 
and Tejasvi 1992, Daniels 1997), with ornithologists 
concentrating on the forests of the southern Western Ghats 
like the Nilgin Plateau in Tamil Nadu and forests of Kerala. 
Globally threatened species like the White-bellied Shortwing 
and Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler need to be specially studied 
to assess their status, range and populations in the central 
Western Ghats. 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

I would like to thank my father for his support of my 
work; S. Karthikeyan, J.N. Prasad, L. Shyamal and Anand 
Prasad tor distribution data; Dr. S. Subramanya, 
A. Shivaprakash, S. Karthikeyan and Ashfaq Ahmed Zam 
for their critical comments on earlier drafts and my brother 
Yashaswi for company in the field. 



REFERENCES 



Ali, S. (1942a): The Birds of Mysore (with notes by Hugh Whistler). 

Part 1. J Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 43(2): 130-147. 

Ali, S. (1942b): The Birds of Mysore (with notes by Hugh Whistler). 

Part II. J. Bombay Nat. Hist Soc 43(3): 318-341 
Ali, S. (1942c): The Birds of Mysore (with notes by Hugh Whistler). 

Part III. J. Bombay Nat Hist. Soc 43(4): 573-595. 

All S. (1943a): The Birds of Mysore (with notes by Hugh Whistler). 

Part IV. J Bombay Nat Hist. Soc 44(1): 9-26. 

Ali, S. (1943b): The Birds of Mysore (with notes by Hugh Whistler). 

Part V. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 44(2): 206-220. 

All S. (1996): The Book of Indian Birds. 12th Edition. Bombay 
Natural History Society, Bombay. 

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1987): Compact Handbook of the Birds of India 
and Pakistan together with those of Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan 
and Sri Lanka. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press, Delhi. 
Baker, H.R.&C.M. Inglis (1930): The Birds of southern India including 
Madras. Malabar, Travancore, Cochin. Coorg and Mysore. 
Government Press, Madras. 

Betts. F.N. ( 1929a): Notes on the Birds of Coorg. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. 
Soc 33(3): 542-551. 

Betts. F.N. (1929b): Bird movements in Coorg J. Bombay Nat. Hist 
Soc 33(3): 718-719. 

Betts, F.N. (1951): The Birds of Coorg. Part I. J. Bombay Nat. Hist 
Soc 50(1): 20-63. 

BirdLife International (2001 ): Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife 
International Red Data Book. BirdLife International. Cambridge, 
UK. Pp 588-613, 614-620, 1524-1530, 2019-2022, 2195-2198. 
Borges, R. (1986): On the occurrence of the Ceylon Frogmouth 
( Batrachostomus moniliger) in north Kanara, Karnataka. 
./. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 83(1): 200. 

Chakravarthy, A.K. & K.P.C.C. Tejasvi (1992): Birds of the hill 
region of Karnataka: an introduction. Navbharath Enterprises, 
Bangalore. 

Daniels, R R.J (1984): The Ceylon Frogmouth Batrachostomus 
moniliger. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 24( 1-2): 2 1 . 

Daniels, R.R..I. (1997): Field Guide to the birds of southwest India. 



Oxford University Press, New Delhi. 

Gamble, .I S. (1956): Flora of the Presidency of Madras. Botanical 
Survey of India. Calcutta. Reprint in three volumes. 

Gaston, A.J. & V.J. Zacharias (1996): The recent distribution of 
endemic and disjunct birds in Kerala state: preliminary results of 
an ongoing survey. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc 93(3): 384-400. 

Girl V.B. (2001 ): Occurrence of the Ceylon Frogmouth Batrachostomus 
moniliger (Family Podargidae) in Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary, 
Maharashtra. / Bombay Nat Hist. Soc. 99(1): 116-117. 

Jhunjhunwala, S., A.R. Rahmani, F. Ishtiaq & Z. Islam (2001): The 
Important Bird Areas Programme in India. Buceros 6(2), 50 pp. 

Kannan, R. (1993): Recent sightings of the Ceylon Frogmouth in 
India. OBC Bulletin 17 (May): 36-38. 

Kazmierczak. K. (2000): A Field Guide to the Birds of the India, Sri 
Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. 
Om Book Service, New Delhi 

Maheshwaran, G (2001 ): Effects of habitat alteration on the birds of 
the Western Ghats. OBC Bulletin 33: 13-14. 

Manakadan, R. & A. Pittie(2001 ): Standardised common and scientific 
names of the birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Buceros 6(1): ix + 
38. 

Rahmani, A.R (1992): Threatened fauna of the Indian grasslands. 
Pp. 143-150. In: Tropical Ecosystems: Ecology and Management 
(Eds: Singh, K.P. & J.S. Singh). Wiley Eastern, New Delhi. 

Rane, U. (1984): Occurrence of White-breasted Laughmgthrush 
(Garrulaxjerdoni Blyth) in Goa.J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81(2): 
474-475. 

Saldanha, C.J. (1984): Flora of Karnataka. Vol. 1. Oxford & IBH 
publishing Co, New Delhi. 

Saldanha, C.J. (1996): Flora of Karnataka. Vol. 2. Oxford & IBH 
publishing Co, New Delhi 

Shyamal, L. (1993): Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle at Kemmangundi. 
Newsletter for Birdwatchers 33(5): 94. 

Sugathan, R. (1981): A survey of the Ceylon Frogmouth 
(Batrachostomus moniliger) habitat in the Western Ghats of India 
J. Bombay Nat Hist. Soc. 78(2): 309-316. 



Appendix 1: Numbers of globally threatened and near-threatened species observed at Kemmangundi 

Species 





Date 


21. v. 2002 


22. v. 2002 


23. v. 2002 


24. v. 2002 


25. v. 2002 


26. v. 2002 


27. v. 2002 


Gyps benghalensis * 




1 


1 


- 


1 


- 


- 


1 


Gyps mdicus * 




- 


10 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Brachypteryx major * 




6 


4 


3 


12 


3 


5 


3 


Columba elphinstonir 




6 


8 


9 


15 


6 


7 


27 


Schoenicola platyura * 




- 


- 


1 


1 


- 


1 


- 


Anthracoceros coronatus# 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


5 


Buceros bicornis # 




- 


- 


- 


7 


- 


- 


- 


Garrulax jerdom# 




8 


8 


- 


4 


7 


8 


- 


Eumyias albicaudata # 




8 


7 


5 


18 


10 


5 


4 



* Globally threatened species, # Globally near-threatened species 



240 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



Appendix 2: A checklist of birds of Kemmangundi ^ 



Species 


Salim Ali 


Shyamal 


Thejaswi 


Status 


Aviceda jerdoni, Jerdon's Baza 






* 


R 


Pernis ptilorhynchus, Oriental Honey Buzzard 




* 


* 


C 


Milvus migrans, Black Kite 






* 


? 


Gyps benghalensis, Indian White-backed Vulture 






* 


R 


Gyps indicus, Long-billed Vulture 






* 


R 


Circaetus gallicus. Short-toed Snake-Eagle 






* 


R 


Spilornis cheela, Crested Serpent Eagle 


* 






? 


Accipiter trivirgatus, Crested Goshawk 






* 


UC 


Accipiter virgatus , Besra Sparrowhawk 






* 


c 


Ictinaetus malayensis, Black Eagle 




* 


* 


c 


Hieraaetus kienerii, Rufous-bellied Eagle 




* 


* 


c 


Spizaetus cirrhatus, Changeable Hawk-Eagle# 






* 


- 


Spizaetus nipalensis, Mountain Hawk-Eagle 






* 


R 


Falco tinnunculus, Common Kestrel 




* 


* 


C 


Falco peregrinus. Peregrine Falcon 


* 




* 


C 


Perdicula erythrorhyncha, Painted Bush-Quail 


* 




* 


C 


Galloperdix spadicea, Red Spurfowl 


* 




* 


C 


Gallus sonneratii, Grey Junglefowl 


* 


* 


* 


A/C 


Columba elphinstonii, Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon 


* 




* 


C/B 


Chalcophaps indica. Emerald Dove 






* 


UC 


Treron pompadora, Pompadour Green-Pigeon 






* 


R 


Ducula badia, Mountain Imperial-Pigeon 






* 


R 


Loriculus badia, Indian Hanging-Parrot 


* 


* 


* 


C 


Psittacula cyanocephala. Plum-headed Parakeet 


* 






? 


Psittacula columboides, Blue-winged Parakeet 


* 


* 


* 


C 


Hierococcyx varius, Brainfever Bird 


* 






? 


Cacomantis sonneratii, Banded Bay Cuckoo 






* 


R 


Tyto capensis. Grass Owl 






* 


R 


Otus sunia, Oriental Scops-Owl 






* 


C 


Strix leptogrammica, Brown Wood-Owl 






* 


UC 


Batrachostomus moniliger, Ceylon Frogmouth 






* 


R 


Caprimulgus atripennis, Jerdon's Nightjar 






* 


UC 


Collocalia unicolor, Indian Edible-nest Swiftlet 






* 


? 


Tachymarptis melba, Alpine Swift 






* 


c 


Harpactes fasciatus, Malabar Trogon 






* 


UC 


Alcedo menmting, Blue-eared Kingfisher 






* 


R 


Nyctyornis athertoni, Blue-bearded Bee-eater 






* 


UC 


Merops orientalis, Small Bee-eater 




* 




? 


Merops leschenaulti, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater 


* 




* 


c 


Ocyceros griseus, Malabar Grey Hornbill 








? 


Anthracoceros coronatus, Malabar Pied Hornbill# 






* 


- 


Buceros bicornis, Great Pied Hornbill 






* 


R 


Megalaima zeylanica, Brown-headed Barbet 






* 


C 


Megalaima viridis, White-cheeked Barbet 


* 


* 


* 


C 


Megalaima rubricapilla, Crimson-throated Barbet 


* 




* 


UC 


Picumnus innominatus, Speckled Piculet 


* 




* 


C/B 


Dryocopus javensis, Great Black Woodpecker 


* 




* 


UC 


Dmopium javanense. Common Golden-backed Woodpecker 


* 




* 


C 


Chrysocolaptes lucidus, Greater Golden-backed Woodpecker 






* 


C 


Hemicircus canente, Heart-spotted Woodpecker 


* 




* 


UC 


Pitta brachyura, Indian Pitta 






* 


? 


Galerida malabarica, Malabar Crested Lark 


* 






UC 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



241 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



Appendix 2: A checklist of birds of Kemmangundi 13 (contd.) 



Species 


Salim Ali 


Shyamal 


Thejaswi 


Status 


Hirundo rupestris, Eurasian Crag-Martin 


* 






?/W 


Hirundo concolor, Dusky Crag-Martin 


* 




* 


C 


Hirundo rustica, Common Swallow 




+ 




?/W 


Hirundo daurica, Red-rumped Swallow 


* 


* 




uc 


Dendronanthus indicus, Forest Wagtail 


* 






?/w 


Anthus rufulus, Paddyfield Pipit 


* 






? 


Anthus similis, Brown Rock Pipit 


* 


* 


* 


C/B 


Anthus hodgsoni, Oriental Tree Pipit 


* 


* 




C/W 


Coracina melanoptera, Black-headed Cuckoo-Shrike 


* 






? 


Pericrocotus flammeus , Scarlet Minivet 


* 




* 


R 


Hemipus picatus , Pied Flycatcher-Shrike 


* 




* 


C 


Tephrodornis guiaris, Large Woodshrike 


* 




* 


C 


Pycnonotus priocephalus, Grey-headed Bulbul 






* 


UC 


Pycnonotus melanicterus, Black-crested Bulbul 






* 


c 


Pycnonotus jocosus , Red-whiskered Bulbul 


* 


* 


* 


A/B 


tote indica, Yellow-browed Bulbul 


* 




* 


C/B 


Hypsipetes leucocephatus. Black Bulbul 


* 


* 


* 


C 


Chloropsis aurifrons, Gold-fronted Chloropsis 






* 


UC 


Irena puella, Asian Fairy-Bulebird 






* 


C 


Lanius cristatus, Brown Shrike 




* 




?/w 


Monticola cinclorhynchus, Blue-headed Rock-Thrush 


* 


* 




C/W 


Monticola solitarius, Blue Rock-Thrush 


* 






?/w 


Myiophonus horsfieldii, Malabar Whistling-Thrush 


* 




* 


C/B 


Zoothera citrina, Orange-headed Thrush 






* 


C/POB 


Zoothera dauma, Scaly Thrush 






* 


R 


Turdus merula, Eurasian Blackbird 


* 




* 


C/B 


Brachypteryx major, White-bellied Shortwing 


* 




* 


C 


Luscinia brunnea, Indian Blue Robin 


* 






C/W 


Copsychus saularis, Oriental Magpie-Robin 


* 


* 


* 


c 


Copsychus malabaricus, White-rumped Shama 








R 


Saxicola torquata, Common Stonechat 


* 






?/w 


Saxicola caprata, Pied Bushchat 


* 




* 


C/B 


Garrulax delesserti, Wynaad Laughingthrush 






* 


R 


Garrulax jerdoni, Grey-breasted Laughingthrush 






* 


R/UC 


Pellorneum ruficeps, Spotted Babbler 


* 


* 


* 


C 


Pomatorhinus horsfieldii, Indian Scimitar-Babbler 


* 


* 


* 


C/B 


Dumetia hyperythra, Rufous-bellied Babbler 


* 




* 


UC 


Rhopocichla atriceps, Black-headed Babbler 


* 




* 


C 


Turdoides subrufus, Indian Rufous Babbler 




* 


* 


C 


Turdoides striatus, Jungle Babbler# 


* 




* 


C 


Alcippe poioicephala, Quaker Tit-Babbler 


* 




* 


C 


Cisticola exilis, Golden-headed Fantail-Warbler 


* 




* 


UC/R 


Locustella naevia, Pale Grasshopper-Warbler 


* 






C/W 


Acrocephalus dumetorum, Blyth's Reed Warbler 




* 




C/W 


Phylloscopus affinis, Tickell’s Warbler 


* 






C/W 


Phylloscopus occipitalis, Western Crowned Warbler 


* 






C/W 


Schoenicola platyura. Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler 






* 


R 


Muscicapa dauurica, Asian Brown Flycatcher 


* 






? 


Ficedula parva, Red-throated Flycatcher 


* 


* 




C/W 


Eumyias thalassina, Verditer Flycatcher 




* 




C/W 


Eumyias albicaudata, Nilgiri Flycatcher 








C/B 



242 J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



NOTES ON BIRDS OBSERVED AT THE BABABUDAN HILLS 



Appendix 2: A checklist of birds of Kemmangundi ^ (contd.) 



Species 


Salim AN 


Shyamal 


Thejaswi 


Status 


Cyornis pallipes, White-bellied Blue-Flycatcher 


* 




* 


C/B 


Cyornis rubeculoides, Blue-throated Flycatcher 


* 






C/W 


Cyornis tickelliae, Tickell’s Blue-Flycatcher (?) $ 




* 




? 


Culicicapa ceylonensis, Grey-headed Flycatcher 


* 




* 


C/PRB 


Parus xanthogenys, Black-lored Yellow-Tit 


* 




* 


C 


Sitta frontalis. Velvet-fronted Nuthatch 


* 




* 


C/B 


Dicaeum agile, Thick-billed Flowerpecker 






* 


R 


Dicaeum concolor. Plain Flowerpecker 






* 


R 


Nectarinia minima, Small Sunbird 


* 


* 


* 


C 


Arachnothera longirostra, Little Spiderhunter 






* 


UC 


Zosterops palpebrosus, Oriental White-eye 


* 


* 


* 


A 


Carpodacus erythrinus, Common Rosefinch 


* 






C/W 


Lonchura kelaarti, Black-throated Munia 






* 


R 


Sturnus malabaricus, Grey-headed Starling 


* 




* 


C 


Acridotheres fuscus, Jungle Myna 






* 


R 


Gracula indica. Southern Hill-Myna 






* 


C 


Orioius oriolus, Eurasian Golden Oriole 




* 


* 


? 


Dicrurus leucophaeus. Ashy Drongo 


* 


* 




C/W 


Dicrurus aeneus, Bronzed Drongo 


* 




* 


UC 


Dicrurus paradiseus, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo 


* 




* 


c 


Dendrocitta leucogastra, White-bellied Treepie 


* 




* 


c 


Corvus macrorhynchos, Jungle Crow 




* 


* 


R 



“ - The list is by no means complete and stands at 125 species 
15 - Nomenclature follows Manakadan and Pittie (2001) 

# - The birds were sighted at c. 600 m in a coffee estate at the foothills of the range 

$ - Not found in sholas, likely to be a Cyornis rubricapilla or a female Cyornis pallipes which are very similar 

Status symbols 

A - Abundant 
B - Breeding confirmed 
POB - Breeding possible 
PRB - Breeding probable 
C - Common 
UC - Uncommon 
R - Rare 

W - Winter visitor 
? - Status equivocal/unknown 

Salim AN (1942-43) refers to the 67 species observed and collected by Salim AN on a six-day visit in January 1940 to Kemmangundi in 
course of his Mysore survey. 

Shyamal (1993) is the checklist of 31 species, seen by L. Shyamal on a two-day visit in February 1993. 

Thejaswi (2002) is the checklist of 97 species seen during my seven-day visit in May 2002. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



243 



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



244-251 



THE IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS ORCAELLA BREVIROSTRJS 
OF CHILIKA LAGOON, INDIA' 

R.K. SlNHA 2 

'Accepted December 2002 

Environmental Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Patna University, Patna 800 005, Bihar, India 
Entail rksinha@mail.girija.net in 



The Irrawaddy Dolphin Orcaellci brevirostris , known as ‘Khera’ in local parlance in Chilika, is a facultative cetacean 
species found both in fresh as well as coastal waters. It is also found in two lagoons- Chilika in India and Songkhlain 
Thailand. It is distributed in southeast Asia, extending to northern Australia. It was first described by Owen based on 
a specimen found in I 852, in the harbour of Vishakhapatnam on the east coast of India. 

The status of the Irrawaddy Dolphin in its entire distribution range is not well known; however, the population is 
expected to be less than a thousand. Its population in Chilika is not more than 50. A maximum number of 31 dolphins 
were sighted during three surveys conducted in July, September and December, 2000. Except in the northern zone, 
which receives a heavy load of sediments through several tributaries of the River Mahanadi, these dolphins are found 
throughout Chilika lake. Deliberate killings of dolphins in Chilika have not been reported, but the species is under threat 
from intensive and extensive fishing, unorganised tourism using mechanised boats, and habitat degradation At least 
1 5 dolphins were found dead in the lagoon during 1 999 and 200 1 Immediate attention is required to protect the dolphins 
from being hit by mechanised boats and from drowning in fishing nets. Besides the habitat improvement programme 
being undertaken by the Chilika Development Authority, which will help in conserving the Chilika lagoon in general and 
the dolphins in particular, education and awareness among the masses and tourists is warranted. However, a Dolphin 
Conservation Programme would focus on the specific requirements and help in conserving the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins 
of Chilika. 

Key words: Irrawaddy Dolphins, Orcaellct brevirostris , Chilika Lagoon, status, threats, conservation 



INTRODUCTION 

Irrawaddy Dolphins Orcaella brevirostris primarily 
occur in the tropical-subtropical Indo-west Pacific, from 
northwest Bay of Bengal to northeastern Australia. The 
Irrawaddy Dolphin was fu st described by Owen ( in Gray 1 866) 
based on a specimen found in 1852, in the harbour of 
Vizagapatnam (now Vishakhapatnam) along the east coast of 
India. Unlike many cetaceans, it is a coastal species, also 
found in several ma jor river systems of southeast Asia. Only 
two lagoon populations of Irrawaddy Dolphins are known in 
the world: Chilika in Orissa State, India and Songkhla in 
Thailand. Records are relatively few, though there are some 
areas of local abundance (Stacey and Arnold 1999). 

DISTRIBUTION 

In India, the Irrawaddy Dolphin has been recorded from 
Vishakhapatnam to the deltas of the Brahmaputra and Ganges 
(= Ganga) rivers (Anderson 1879; James el al. 1989). The 
brackish Chilika lagoon was an important habitat (Annandale 
1915), but Irrawaddy Dolphins are now considered rare there 
(Dhandapani 1992). The species has been recorded in 
relatively small numbers in the coastal waters of Bangladesh 
(Kasuya and Haque !972,Haque 1982), Myanmar (Smith et 



al. 1997b), peninsular Malaysia (MorzerBmyns 1966; Stacey 
and Leatherwood 1997), Singapore (Pillen and Gihr 1974), 
Thailand (Chantrapomsyl etal. 1996; Stacey and Leatherwood 
1997), Sarawak (Gibson-Hill 1950; Pillen and Gihr 1974), Sabah 
(Dolar etal. 1997), Brunei (Gibson-Hill 1949, 1950; Pillen and 
Gihr 1974), and the Gulf of Papua (Dawbin 1972). The 
population status is unknown in all these areas, but numbers 
appear to be declining in the Gulf of Thailand where they are 
concentrated in the Thale Sap (= Songkhla Lake) region (Perrin 
et al. 1 996) and the Laem Sing area (Stacey and Leatherwood 
1997). Records from Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Kalmrantan, and 
Irian Jaya are more numerous (Morzer Bruyns 1966; Stacey 
and Leatherwood 1997). Major concentrations are said to 
occur in the coastal areas of Cilacap on the southern coast of 
Java and Kalimantan (Perrin etal. 1996). Recently it has been 
recorded from Malampaya Sound in the Philippines. Records 
from northern Australia are numerous, extending from Broome, 
Western Australia to the east coast of Queensland as far 
south as the Brisbane river, Queensland (Paterson etal. 1998). 

Orcaella brevirostris has been recorded in the 
Irrawaddy (= Ayeyarwady) river, from near Prome to about 
50 km above Bliamo, about 1 ,300 km upstream (Anderson 1 879; 
Thein 1977; Leatherwood et al. 1984; Smith et al. 1997b). 
TTiere are records of the species from River Mekong in Vietnam 
and Cambodia, and a short distance into the Lao Peoples’ 



IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS OF CHILIKA LAGOON 



Democratic Republic (Baird et al. 1994; Baird and 
Mounsouphom 1994; Lloze 1973; Perrin et al. 1996; Smith 
et al. 1997a; Stacey and Leatherwood 1997). Recent 
information suggests that numbers throughout the Mekong 
river, as well as in the Sekong river in Laos, have been 
declining. The species has been recorded in the Mahakam 
river and Semayang Lake-Pela river of east Kalimantan, as 
well as the Kumay river of central Kalimantan (Tas’an and 
Leatherwood 1 984; Perrin et al. 1 996). There is no fossil record. 

The Irrawaddy dolphin is locally known as ‘ Khera' in 
the Chilika Lagoon area, and also ‘ Bashiyya Magaf (oil yielding 
dolphin) in the Oriya language. It is known as Pa kha in Lao 
PDR and Pesut Mahakam or Ikan pesut in Indonesia; it is the 
provincial symbol of East Kalimantan (Perrin et al. 1996). The 
Malaysian name is Lumba lumba (Watson 1981). In Thailand, 
one of its names is Pla Ionia hooa baht , because its rounded 
head is thought to resemble the shape of a monk's bowl, a 
hooa baht (Baird and Mounsouphom, 1994). 

STUDY AREA 

Chilika Lagoon, commonly known as Chilika Lake, is 
the largest brackish waterbody in Asia. The pear-shaped lake 
is situated on the east coast of Orissa, India between 19° 28' 



and 1 9° 54' N and between 85° 05' and 85° 38' E (Fig. 1 ). The 
maximum north-south length is 63 km. The average width is 
17.8 km (Satellite Imagery, October 2000) and total surface 
area is c. 845-sq. km (May, 2000) (IRS-IC, IRSS-III). The 
maximum depth of the lagoon varies between 3-4.5 m in the 
Central Sector near Kalijai Temple (Fig. 1). The catchment 
area of the lake is 32 12 sq. km, not including the drainage of 
the Mahanadi. Altogether, 35 rivers and rivulets drain into 
the lake. There are several islands covering a total area of 
223 sq. km. Chilika Lagoon inns parallel to the Bay of Bengal, 
separated by a 0.1 -1.5 km narrow and 39 km long sand spit. 

On September 23, 2000, a new mouth was opened 
opposite the village Sipakuda, 8 km from Satpada (Fig. 1 ), by 
desilting to restore the lagoon ecosystem. This increased 
salinity to 14 ppt in December 2000 at Satpada against the 
average salinity of 3-4 ppt in the same period for the last 
decade, resulting in an overall increase in fish, prawn and 
crab landings by 131%, 534% and 449% respectively, in 2000- 
2001 compared to the previous year. 

The lake can be divided into four major ecological 
divisions: Outer Channel, Northern, Central and Southern 
Sectors. The Northern Sector is shallow as it receives silt 
from the rivers, whereas the Central and Southern Sectors are 
relatively deep. 




J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



245 



IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS OF CHILIKA LAGOON 



The lake is highly productive, with rich fishery resources 
(Chilika = fish in local parlance, which probably gave the lake 
its name). It sustains about 1 .5 lakh fisherfolk of 1 2,363 families 
in 132 villages in its environs. The total number of active 
fishermen is estimated at 30,000. 

METHODS 

On the initiative and support of the Chilika Development 
Authority, rapid surveys were conducted in June, September 
and December 2000 to determine the current status and 
distribution of the Irrawaddy Dolphins in the lake. 

During the surveys, we interviewed fishermen whom 
we met at the lake to obtain information regarding the 
occurrence, distribution, threats, conservation, and cultural 
attitudes regarding protection of dolphins. Repeating 
questions to different fishermen increased the reliability of 
information provided by the informants. The fishermen 
associated with the Dolphin Motorboat Association, and 
Mr. Shial, the Assistant Tourist Officer of Orissa Tourism 
Department at Satpada were interviewed to collect 
information on the number of tourists visiting Chilika for 
dolphin watch. 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 

Dolphin Population in different Ecological Zones of the lake 

Surveys were conducted for nine days between June 
and December, 2000 in the Outer, Central, Southern and 
Northern sectors of Chilika lagoon. A total of 50 hours were 
spent searching for dolphins. Most of the dolphins were 
sighted m the Outer Channel, mainly between Magarmukh 
and New Mouth at Sipakuda (Fig. 1 ). 

Outer Channel: Surveys in the Outer Channel were 
conducted on June 9 and 10, September 2 , and December 26 
and 28, 2000. On June 9, the survey was conducted from 
Satpada to Sipakuda (New Mouth), 8 km; and Satpada to 
Mahisha - Brahmpur - Rajhans Forest Rest House (c. 12 km). 

A total of about 30 dolphins were sighted in the Outer 
Channel in a stretch of about 12-13 km between Magarmukh 
and New Mouth at Sipakuda. In June only 13 adults were 
sighted, whereas in September 19 adults, two juveniles and 
one calf were sighted. In December, 30 adults and one calf 
were sighted (Table 1) in the outer channel. The choppy 
surface of the lake, due to high breeze from the Bay of Bengal, 
led to poor sighting of dolphins in June. The New Mouth at 
Sipakuda was opened on September 23, after which the fish 
catch increased significantly. In December the calmer water 
surface, compared to June and September, facilitated the 
dolphins sightings. 



Table 1 : Dolphin sightings in Chilika Lagoon (June-December, 2000) 





Outer 

Channel 


Northern 

Sector 


Central 

Sector 


Southern 

Sector 


Total 


Jun.-Jul. 


13 adults 


Not done 


6 adults 


4* 


23 adults 


Aug. -Sep. 


19 adults 
02 juveniles 
01 calf 


Nil 


4** 


2*** 


25 adults 
02 juveniles 
01 calf 


Dec. 


30 adults 
01 calf 


Not done 


Nil 


Not done 


30 adults 
01 calf 



* and **: Sighted by Mr. Bishnu of CDA on July 21 and August 20 
respectively 

***: Sighted by local fishermen 



Central and Southern Sectors: The Central and 
Southern part of the lake were surveyed on June 1 1 , September 
1 and December 27, 2000 (only Central Sector). On June 1 1 , we 
surveyed for about 10 hours. Six adult dolphins were sighted 
in the Nalabana Bird Sanctuary in the Central Sector. In this 
area, no fishing activity was noticed, but fishmg is reportedly 
done at night. No dolphin was sighted in the Southern Sector, 
but one of the researchers of the Chilika Development 
Authority, Mr. Bishnu, sighted 4 adults each in the Southern 
Sector and Central Sector on July 2 1 and August 20, during a 
monthly limnological sampling of the lake. On September 1, 
the survey was started from Barkul, a small town on the 
western end of the Central Sector about 5-6 km from Kalijai 
Temple Rock Island, to cover the Central and Southern sectors, 
but no dolphins were sighted. However, the local fishermen 
reported sightings of 2-3 adults near Rambha in the Southern 
Sector. Though no dolphin could be sighted in the Central 
and Southern Sectors in September, it can be reasonably 
accepted that dolphins are found in these sectors in the 
monsoon, i.e. June to September. However, the population 
density is very low as compared to the Outer Channel. 

Northern Sector: Due to insufficient water, surveys 
could not be conducted in this sector in June and December. 
However, on September 3 we surveyed almost the entire 
Northern Sector, which receives fresh water from a large 
number of tributaries of the River Mahanadi, resulting in highly 
turbid water in the lake. A major portion of the lake in this 
sector was infested with weeds, which have severely affected 
the dolphin habitat here. We could not sight any dolphins, 
but the local fishermen informed us of regular sightings in the 
area about 20 years ago. In the 1999 monsoon, one dolphin 
was sighted in this sector (Bishnu pers. comm.). 

Dhandapani (1992) estimated only 20 dolphins in the 
lake. During the three surveys in June, September, and 
December 2000, the total number of dolphins in Chilika was 
estimated to be more than 30, though the entire lake was not 



246 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS OF CHILIKA LAGOON 




Fig. 2: a. A dead Irrawaddy Dolphin on the Central Sector of the Chilika Lagoon, 
probably hit by a mechanized boat; b. The wound on the neck can be seen 



thoroughly and systematically surveyed for various reasons. 
Taking the size of the lake and width of the Outer Channel 
into account, some dolphins must have been missed during 
the survey. Optimistically, the expected number of dolphins 
in Chilika would be 40-50. 

CONSERVATION STATUS 

The species is listed as IUCN category K, i.e., 
insufficiently known (Klinowaska 1991 ). Irrawaddy Dolphins 
are protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972; 



hunting, capture and trade in the species is illegal. Besides 
India, the species has been given legal protection in Laos, 
Cambodia, Indonesia, and Australia; however, enforcement is 
a problem (Stacey and Arnold 1999). Fifteen dolphins were 
killed in Chilika Lagoon in 1999 and 2000. One carcass of a 
calf was collected by Mr. Bishnu, a researcher of the Chilika 
Development Authority (CDA), from the lagoon 4-5 km east 
of Kalijai Temple Rock Island on November 23, 1 999. It is 
preserved in the museum of the CDA at Bhubaneshwar. The 
calf was probably entangled in a gill net, as blood was oozing 
from a wound near the gape of the calf at the time of collection. 



J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 101 (2), May-Aug 2004 



247 



IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS OF CHILIKA LAGOON 



In the Central Sector, another adult carcass was sighted 
floating in February 2000, which was left in the lake (Bishnu 
pers. comm.). An adult female carcass (2 m) was collected 
from the Outer Channel on September 24, 2000 at Satpada. 
Again in January 200 1 , two adult dolphins 2.0 and 2.2 m long 
were found dead in the Outer Channel. Thus, between 
November 1999 and January 2001 six carcasses of Irrawaddy 
Dolphins were found in the lagoon, which is unfortunate and 
endangers the survival of these dolphins, considering the 
small population. Besides these, the State Forest and Wildlife 
Department collected some more carcasses. Two skeletons 
are lying in their museum at Barkul, while many have 
reportedly been buried in the Nalabana area in the Take. In 
January 2002, four more dolphins were killed by the 
mechanised tourists boats, one of which was photographed 
(Fig. 2). 

During the present study, the dolphins were sighted in 
the main area of the lake in June at the approach of the 
monsoon, and in the Outer Channel in September when 
monsoon was at its peak. If locals are to be believed, the 
dolphins are sighted in the lake throughout the monsoon, 
i.e. July-September. 

During the present study, Irrawaddy Dolphins were 
found swimming slowly, with sluggish movements. In spite 
of a choppy lake surface most of the time, the melon, dorsal 
fin and fluke were clearly visible. The blow sound of respiration 
was heard many times. In the main part of the lake, 6 dolphins 
were observed in a semi-circular formation, probably driving 
fish in a particular area for community feeding. Occasionally 
they moved fast and vigorously, probably when chasing fish. 

People’s perception about the Irrawaddy dolphin in Chilika 

In Chilika Lake, Irrawaddy Dolphins were observed 
swimming in the vicinity of a few metres of small seine-fishing 
nets and also following boats. Annandale, in the early part of 
the 20th Century, also sighted dolphins following boats in 
Chilika. Interest in dolphin conservation and awareness was 
noticed everywhere in Chilika, and many fishermen and 
villagers were seen to respect dolphins. Most fishermen 
believe that killing dolphins brings bad luck, while saving 
one ensures a good catch. The local fishermen reported that 
whenever a dolphin gets entangled in a fishing net, it 'cries’ 
for help by making specific sounds to attract attention. The 
fishermen’s good intentions of rescuing and releasing the 
dolphins entangled in gill-nets, however, are not always 
possible, as they hesitate to cut open their nets to release the 
dolphins. This results in the dolphins getting drowned. The 
author observed this conflict among many of the fishermen. 

Some fishermen are experts in calling dolphins by 
producing a sound “ ku ku ku kit...” for help while fishing. 



They also reportedly call Irrawaddy Dolphins by striking the 
side of the boat with a conical wooden pin, as has been 
observed in the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar (Smith et cil. 
1997b). 

There is generally a positive attitude towards dolphins 
in many southeast Asian countries, with beliefs that dolphins 
have saved drowning swimmers, offered protection against 
crocodiles, and assisted in fishing operations (Stacey and 
Leatherwood 1997; Them, 1977). 

At the old mouth of Chilika, the local fishermen reported 
that during high tide, especially on Full and No Moon days 
and nights, 5-10 Bottlenose Dolphins enter through the Old 
Mouth from the sea up to Sanapatna, 1 5 km inside the Outer 
Channel, and return to the sea with low tide. 

Kaminga et al. ( 1983) suggested that Orcaella was 
forced inshore by more specialised dolphins, implying 
exclusion by inter-specific competition. Stacey and 
Leatherwood (1997) also reported that when captive 
Humpback Dolphins ( Sousa chinensis ) and Irrawaddy 
Dolphins were held together, the former was dominant. 
Irrawaddy Dolphins were frequently chased and confined to 
a small portion of the tank. During the September survey, the 
local fishermen reported that whenever the Irrawaddy 
Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins came across one another 
in the Outer Channel, the former got frightened and was forced 
to return. This corroborates the above observations. 

The Irrawaddy Dolphins - a Tourist Attraction at Chilika 

Orissa has many archaeological and religious sites, 
which attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. 
Satpada on Chilika Lagoon is about 50 km south of the famous 
Puri shrine. The main attraction in Chilika, especially at Satpada 
is the Irrawaddy Dolphin. Data collected from the records of 
the Orissa Tourism Department and the Dolphin Motorboat 
Association, an NGO at Satpada, revealed that about 40,000 
tourists visit Chilika every year. October-January and May- 
June are the peak season for tourists at Chilika, with a max